Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins wants more money, and he’s holding out to get it.
Hopkins left training camp and began a holdout this morning, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
As the 27th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Hopkins is heading into the fourth year of his rookie contract, and he’s due a base salary of $1 million this year. That’s a bargain for a player of Hopkins’ quality, but it’s what the Collective Bargaining Agreement dictates.
Next year, the Texans can keep Hopkins by picking up his fifth-year option and paying him $7.915 million. Hopkins is obviously looking for a deal that would pay him considerably more than $8.915 million over the next two years, and more for a few years after that as well.
Last week, the story said, Hopkins commented he wanted the Texans to pay him “what I’m worth,” but he did not elaborate on his feelings. By walking out of camp, he has made his feelings clear. This doesn't seem like a good sign, but it remains to be seen if this is a one-day protest or something that will keep him out for a while. Hopkins is ranked fourth on our WR list and is poised for a big year with the hope of some QB consistency as Brock Osweiler takes over. We'll keep you posted on the developments.
Johnson, 35, starred in his first 12 NFL seasons with the Texans before struggling last season with the Colts. Although he appears on the downside of his career, the 6-3, 229-pound veteran will still likely provide a reliable target for second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota and boost a Titans receiving corps that rated among the least productive in the league last season.
Johnson didn't seem to have much left with the Colts last year. And in a recent news story, one of four unnamed team execs said Johnson's upside was in some kind of limited role because of his size. Two of the four execs said he was done while one other said he could serve as a mentor. This particular story said Titans coach Mike Mularkey was impressed by Johnson's productivity in a limited role last season, because 24 of his 41 catches went for 10 yards or longer. It's doubtful Johnson is going to have a huge fantasy value but it's worth monitoring what his role is going to be with Tennessee.
Thursday, July 28, 2016, 2:22pm
The Bengals reported to Paul Brown Stadium Thursday and as five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green began his sixth training camp without offseason workout partner Calvin Johnson in the league, he says he’s one of a group of about five vying to replace Johnson as the NFL’s best wide receiver.
Green says he’s not surprised Johnson retired after just nine seasons in the league at age 30. After all, he told Green a couple of offseasons ago that he only had about two or three years left in him.
And there are other concerns. Green and wife Miranda are expecting their first child Sept. 30, a son named Easton Ace Green.
Green, who turns 28 Sunday, said he’d like to play anywhere between 11-15 seasons if he’s still performing at a top level, the story said.
Hopkins has seen the same from the Houston Texans' new quarterback. He said as much during a Twitter Q&A with fans on Wednesday evening.
Their relationship is one of the most important to watch with the Texans this offseason. The Texans' quarterback dramas during the past three seasons have certainly affected Hopkins more than most other players on the field. He powered through it. Hopkins became the first player in NFL history to have 100-yard receiving games catching passes from four different quarterbacks, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Still, chemistry can only help, the story went on to say. Osweiler has a chance to be a nice upgrade at QB for the Texans and Hopkins, who really exploded on to the scene last year and is one of the top WRs to draft in fantasy this season.
Texans DE J.J. Watt has undergone back surgery and will start camp on physically unable to perform list but should be ready for the season.
Watt has never missed a game in his career and should ready for opener against the Bears.
Watt missed 2012 preseason because of an elbow injury, didn't miss a regular season game and won first NFL Defensive Player of Year award.
This would be a tough blow for the Texans defense if Watt were to miss any time.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 1:35pm
RB Jay Ajayi will enter Dolphins training camp as the clear favorite to replace Lamar Miller as the starter after flashing intriguing potential in his nine appearances as a rookie. Head Coach Adam Gase said he was impressed by Ajayi’s shiftiness to go along with his physical running style, so the biggest challenge now for the former Boise State star will be convincing his coaches he can be as effective in the passing game as he is as a runner.
Damien Williams is the running back situation, Williams was sidelined for most of the spring practices that were open to the media. Williams made most of his contributions in his first two seasons on special teams, but he’s hoping to carve a bigger role on offense in 2016.
Another big factor could be Kenyan Drake, who was picked in the third round of this year's draft. (Isaiah Pead and Daniel Thomas are also on the roster.) Drake has played behind Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry at Alabama. For now, Ajayi is ranked 20th on our list of RBs with an ADP of the fifth round. After spring workouts new HC Adam Gase said that Ajayi “kind of separated himself” in the running back competition, so it looks like he’ll be the primary running back provided the team doesn’t sign Arian Foster once his Achilles is healthy.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 12:17pm
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported the club envisions a "multidimensional" role for WR Braxton Miller, who has proven to be, per Wilson, a "determined, quick study" during his first NFL offseason.
"(He's) just a versatile player, explosive player," Texans general manager Rick Smith said. "Trying to impact our football team, adding players who can add dimensions to our football team who can make plays with the ball in their hands, and certainly he can do that."
Texans receivers coach Sean Ryan added: "The thing with him is he works at it; he wants to pick things up. He wants to be good. I think he's got a little chip on his shoulder understanding that there were some people out there that thought there would be this large learning curve for him and weren't sure about him being a receiver. ... He wants to learn and he's smart enough to learn and those are the two biggest factors to me."
Sunday, July 3, 2016, 4:13pm
When it comes to NFL quarterback contracts, a rising tide doesn’t necessarily lift all boats. Just ask Ryan Fitzpatrick, who gained no leverage from contracts given to players like Sam Bradford (two years, $35 million) and Brock Osweiler (four years, $72 million). Ultimately, a quarterback’s value is driven not by what others have gotten, but by what anyone will pay this specific player.
Fitzpatrick, despite the Bradford, Osweiler, and now Andrew Luck deals, can’t get eight figures per year from the Jets, or anything close to that from anyone else. Next year, that same problem could apply to Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
The story went on to say Taylor is due to earn $3 million this year, which when it comes to quarterbacks isn’t peanuts but pressed peanut sweepings. For Taylor, his value next year likely will be driven by the market for mid-level quarterbacks, if anyone out there chooses to pay him a mid-level contract, which currently is in the range of $15 million per year. Luck’s new contract doesn’t change that.
Receiver Jaelen Strong may be the most improved player on the team. Strong had an impressive offseason program. He got most of his assignments correct, ran the right routes and made a lot of spectacular catches. He showed consistent improvement. His teammates and coaches are excited about him. Getting arrested for marijuana possession in February seemed to help his maturity on and off the field.
There comes a point with all first year players when you can see the light start to go on. Things aren’t just a blur on a daily basis. As such, it definitely seems there’s a flicker of a light going on with Will Fuller. At Notre Dame, he made a living on deep throws and short catch and run screens. But, he’s showing much more than just that each and every day. He made an excellent catch for a touchdown in the far corner and followed that up with a catch at the back of the end zone for another touchdown on consecutive plays. Progress...that’s all you want from a rookie and he’s making it.
A year ago, Texans wide receiver Jaelen Strong was a sluggish rookie. He was noticeably overweight, tipping the scales at nearly 230 pounds as if he was unintentionally bulking up for a move to tight end.
Strong chalked up the weight gain to the travel and lost workout time associated with the predraft circuit. He responded by changing his diet and increasing his cardio workouts to get down from 6-2, 230 pounds to a lean 197 pounds.
Strong has been one of the more impressive players at the Texans' organized team activities, catching a series of passes in traffic for first downs.
"I just said to him today how far he's come," O'Brien said Tuesday. "He's a guy that a year ago today, I was concerned about him from a conditioning standpoint. I just didn't know what type of condition he was in. It wasn't very good. He really at some point in time before training camp, he came back and passed the conditioning test and really took off after that.
"He contributed in some games last year. He had a really good offseason. He's in really good shape. He's playing well. Hopefully it continues. He's a guy that we're definitely counting on."
And Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has noticed a seriousness of purpose from Strong even during an offseason where he was arrested for possession of marijuana in February in Arizona.
When retweeting a link to this story, Texans beat writer Stephanie Stradley added, "No hype. Looks good." The Texans are looking for a starter opposite DeAndre Hopkins and Strong is competing with veteran Cecil Shorts and rookie Will Fuller for the job. He may face punishment from the NFL for his marijuana arrest, but the weight loss should help his speed and quickness.
Sunday, April 3, 2016, 1:01pm
ESPN's Rich Cimini offered the following on the Jets-Ryan Fitzpatrick situation:
Ideally, the Jets would like to resolve the contract stalemate by April 18, the start of the offseason program. Unless another team emerges from the weeds, Fitzpatrick's only options are to take the Jets' low-ball offer (about $7 million) or not play.
I don't think Fitzpatrick's pride would allow him to cave quickly; he could try to slow-play the Jets. They could try to pressure him by flirting with Brian Hoyer or Josh McCown, but they'd better be careful. If New York ends up with one of them and loses Fitzpatrick, it's a loss for the Jets, even if they save a few million bucks. They need him, he needs them. Get it done.
Friday, April 1, 2016, 9:26pm
The Texans re-signed Weeden, the team announced on Friday. The new deal is for $4 million over two years, NFL Media's Rand Getlin reported, via a source with direct knowledge of the contract.
Claimed off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys in mid-November, Weeden relieved an injured T.J. Yates in Week 15, tossing a touchdown to rookie Jaelen Strong to push the Texans past the Colts in a crucial battle for control of the division. A week later, he accounted for three touchdowns in a 34-6 rout over the Titans.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 7:28pm
Journeyman Thad Lewis is joining the 49ers’ ever-curious quarterback corps, agreeing to a one-year contract, the NFL Network reported.
Still in that quarterback unit, for now, is Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers’ deposed starter who’s requested a trade through his agents last month. Blaine Gabbert is the presumed incumbent starter, while their other quarterback is Dylan Thompson, an undrafted rookie last year who got called up from the practice squad Nov. 21, upon Kaepernick getting placed on injured reserve.
Lewis, 28, has been with six teams and played sparingly since entering the league in 2010 as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams. He’s 2-4 all-time as a starter, including a 2-3 mark in 2013 with the Buffalo Bills. He’s also been with the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans.
Lewis spent time with the Eagles last year as well when Chip Kelly was the coach.