DeAndre Hopkins has downplayed the alleged feud he had with Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien prior to being traded, but it has since become clear that the star wide receiver was not on good terms with his former head coach. Now, Hopkins has all but confirmed that.
Hopkins spoke about his exit from Houston as part of a lengthy feature from Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated, and the four-time Pro Bowler admitted he asked for a substantial raise prior to being traded. However, Hopkins said he knew “that asking for a little raise would lead to the outcome that I got, which is the outcome that I wanted.”
In other words, Hopkins knew the Texans were not going to rework his contract. He also told Bishop that he suspected O’Brien had been shopping him for an entire year before finally trading him to the Arizona Cardinals, so Hopkins was likely confident that seeking a new deal would nudge things in the right direction for him.
When the trade went down, Hopkins said O’Brien called him with a businesslike message and informed him of the move. He wasn’t surprised that a coach he spent six seasons playing under had so little to say.
“There was no relationship,” Hopkins said. “Make sure you put that in there. There’s not a lot to speak about.”
Former NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin said things really reached a boiling point with Hopkins and O’Brien when the coach compared Hopkins to Aaron Hernandez in a tense meeting. Hopkins has neither confirmed not denied that, but he downplayed his feud with O’Brien last month. Those close to O’Brien told Sports Illustrated they doubt the coach made that comparison or complained about Hopkins’ “baby mothers” being around the Texans too much.
The entire SI article is worth reading for a closer look at the situation.