Patience paid off for Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
After briefly holding out (sort of) in 2016, Hopkins put in a full year, showed up for everything in 2017, and cashed in with one of the very best receiver contracts in league history. Per a source with knowledge of the deal, here are the full terms:
1. Signing bonus of $7.5 million.
2. 2017 roster bonus of $8.5 million, fully guaranteed.
3. 2017 base salary of $8 million, fully guaranteed.
4. 2018 base salary of $12.5 million, fully guaranteed.
5. 2019 base salary of $12.5 million, guaranteed for injury at signing. It becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2018 league year.
6. 2020 base salary of $12.5 million.
7. 2021 base salary of $13.5 million.
8. 2022 base salary of $13.915 million.
9. Salary de-escalators of $250,000 per year from 2018 through 2022, based on participation in the offseason program. (That’s a standard term for Texans deals.)
And here are the highlights of the contract:
1. Cash flow of $24 million in 2017, $36.5 million through 2018, and $49 million through 2019. That’s the highest three-year payout for a receiver in league history, barely edging out Antonio Brown’s $48.91 million. (Former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson collected $51.25 million over three -- although he eventually paid more than $1 million back, when he retired.)
2. $36.5 million is fully guaranteed at signing, which tops all current receiver deals (Julio Jones had the prior high at $35.5 million).
3. By March of 2018, $49 million will be fully guaranteed. That tops all current receiver deals.
4. Given Hopkins’ overall performance (especially in light of last year, with 954 receiving yards and four touchdowns), the contract is an eye-popping amount, with payment largely based on potential and projected performance if/when the quarterback position calms down.
5. The deal has a new-money average of $16.2 million, putting him ahead of all receivers except Brown, who averages $17 million. But due to the way Steelers structure long term contracts, Brown’s full guarantee is considerably lower, at $17 million.
Hopkins is under contract for six years, with three of them as a practical matter fully guaranteed. After 2019, the team will hold a year-to-year option for 2020, 2021, and 2022.