Deandre Hopkins didn't get paid last year, when he wound up holding out for a day in search of a new contract. On the eve of the 2017 season, however, that wait is proving to be worth his while. The Houston Texans inked their star receiver to a massive contract extension on Thursday. It will pay Hopkins the largest guarantee for a wide receiver in NFL history - not bad for someone coming off of a down season.

Hopkins gets his money

Last year, the Texans picked up Hopkins' fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which was set to last through this season.

His new contract will pay him $81 million over five seasons, including $49 million in guarantees. Perhaps it's a show of respect from the front office, as Hopkins didn't hold out for even a single day in training camp this summer, even though he was in the same contract situation as he was last season.

Hopkins wasn't alone in cashing in on Thursday. The Texans used some surplus funds to give contract extensions to tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, free safety Andre Hal, and fullback Jay Prosch; that money became available when the team traded away Brock Osweiler at the beginning of the offseason. During a week in which most of the news out of Houston has been harrowing as a result of Hurricane Harvey, the team keeping one of their stars in the city for the long-term future is good news.

Texans make offensive improvements

Hopkins followed a massive breakout season in 2015 with a more mediocre 78 catches, 954 yards and four touchdowns last season. Many people are considering that a result of Osweiler tossing the ball for the Texans; the quarterback had one of the worst years at the position in recent league memory.

In fact, he was so bad that he was traded for peanuts just to get his horrendous contract off the books.

But a receiver is only as effective as their quarterback, a problem countless great receivers have shared in the past. As the season starts, Tom Savage will be slinging the passes, which might only be a slight improvement from last year.

The Texans hope that rookie Deshaun Watson - who led Clemson to a national title in college football last season - will develop quickly and be able to take over the quarterback role. If that happens, Hopkins will have the most dynamic quarterback of his career throwing passes his way. The two should already have chemistry based on a past connection; they can both count Clemson as their alma mater.