The Houston Texans allowed their best wide receiver in franchise history, Andre Johnson, to leave and put all their faith in Deandre Hopkins. Now, with only one year remaining on his contract, the Texans have to decide what their plans are with Hopkins. According to ESPN, the Texans general manager Rick Smith said that he wants DeAndre with the franchise for a very long time. The question now is what it will take to keep Hopkins in Houston. That might start with finally finding a franchise quarterback for the first time since the team drafted Hopkins.

DeAndre Hopkins wants a new contract

Last season, DeAndre Hopkins held out for one day in training camp to let the Houston Texans know that he wasn’t happy and wanted a contract extension to secure his future with the franchise. This came after his breakout 2015 season where he caught 111 balls for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, without Andre Johnson to take pressure off him and without a legitimate star quarterback to throw him the ball, DeAndre regressed in 2016.

In 2016, with names like Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage throwing the ball, DeAndre Hopkins still led the Houston Texans in receiving but did so at a quieter pace. Hopkins finished 2016 with only 78 receptions for 954 yards and only four touchdowns. It was the first time since his rookie season that DeAndre did not eclipse 1,000 receiving yards and was also his lowest touchdown numbers since his rookie year. His 12.2 yards-per-reception was also a career low.

Texans see big things in Hopkins future

At the onset of the 2016 NFL season, things don’t look much better for DeAndre Hopkins. The Houston Texans have announced that Tom Savage will enter preseason as their starting quarterback. On a positive note, Hopkins did have seven receptions for 123 yards in the final game of the regular season with Savage at quarterback. However, Savage has never done anything to show that he can be an NFL star and Hopkins is limited by what his quarterback can do.

However, Deshaun Watson is waiting in the wings and could be a difference maker. According to Rick Smith, he considers DeAndre Hopkins one of the Texans’ better players and wants to keep him for a long time. He said that the team drafted him and developed him and wants him to be a star in Houston. With nine different quarterbacks playing since he joined the Houston Texans, the biggest thing outside of money is to find a quarterback and stick with him.

If Watson is that player, that could go a long way in keeping DeAndre.

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