Is Hopkins’ exit really about money?
As far as anyone knows, O’Brien didn’t offer to take a pay cut, himself, so that his best players can chase a Super Bowl now for the city of Houston. It implores the question: what were the countless hours of route tree practice between Deshaun Watson and Hopkins good for if O’Brien canceled the duo’s ability to work together into the future as a passer and receiver?
If Hopkins exit was about money, and O’Brien balked as a general manager to pay him, then that is
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bad news for the Texans going forward because it sends the message to players, “Be great at your job and you’re gone because we are not going to pay you.” And regardless of what Hopkins might have asked to receive in compensation, the Texans could have easily made the entire investment back by fans cheering on the wideout all the way to the Hall of Fame in a Texans’ uniform.
Now, if this was not about money, but a soured relationship where Hopkins could not feel welcome to continue his journey in Houston or was simply ousted—as some speculate, due to an allegedly abrasive, work-inappropriate Bill O’Brien—then this is also bad news for the Texans’ organization. According to various reports, veterans around the league may fear playing for O’Brien as their potential head coach because of his reputation from coaching former players. If this is true, then this sends the message to impact free agents considering where to land next, “Come play for O’Brien, even if you’re great, and risk being miserable.”