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DeAndre Hopkins Says He Had 'No Relationship' with Texans HC Bill O'Brien

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2020

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, right, talks with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) prior to an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

The Houston Texans' trade of DeAndre Hopkins was so roundly criticized that there surely had to be more to the story.

It turns out there was. Hopkins opened up about his departure from Houston and relationship with coach Bill O'Brien in an interview with Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop.

"There was no relationship," Hopkins said. "Make sure you put that in there. There's not a lot to speak about."

Hopkins acknowledged that asking for a new contract was a calculated move he knew would result in a trade, which he said is "the outcome that I wanted."

The Texans traded Hopkins and a fourth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for David Johnson, a second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round selection. The trade instantly became one of the most criticized in recent NFL history.

Bishop detailed a pivotal meeting between O'Brien and Hopkins last year, in which the coach seemingly compared the wideout to former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez when discussing Hopkins' friends. Michael Irvin, a confidant of Hopkins, made details of the meeting public last month on ESPN's First Take. O'Brien also seemed to criticize Hopkins because he has three children with three women.

"If I let the judgment of other people dictate the reality of my life, I wouldn't be in the position I'm in now," Hopkins said, declining to go into detail regarding the meeting.

Bishop wrote that Hopkins believes the Texans tried to paint him "as a malcontent who had started to decline." Hopkins insinuated he believes the leaks came from O'Brien, whose performance as the Texans' lead decision-maker has been heavily criticized.

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Hopkins also said he plans to continue rooting for quarterback Deshaun Watson, who levied his own criticisms at the Texans via a handful of subtweets. However, the fissure in the relationship between O'Brien and Hopkins had gotten so bad that it was clear to both sides there needed to be a divorce.

It's perhaps a compliment to each party that neither had allowed the falling out to go public.

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