The Hopkins Holdout

You’ve heard of the Stanky Leg, the Cupid Shuffle, and even the Whip & Nae Nae. Now it’s time for the Hopkins Holdout!

Last Saturday star wideout Deandre Hopkins abruptly left practice because he thinks he is worth much more than the rookie contract he is playing on.

Typically, I’d roll my eyes at this kind of action. Actually, I did roll my eyes. I threw up my hands and yelled “What the hell Deandre?!” and had to explain to my coworkers why I have such an issue with contract holdouts.

Contract holdouts seem weak, right? On the surface, it seems like NFL players are moaning and complaining about a contract that they previously agreed to. Granted, Nuk Hopkins is on a fairly cheap contract, as it’s his 3rd year in the league (rookie contracts typically extend to 4 years total”. I can see why one of the debatably top 5 receivers in the league would rather get paid like Antonio Brown, or at least like a Brandon LaFell, instead of getting paid like a rookie.

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Typically a holdout only works if you’re important enough to the team where having you miss out on games and practice hurts the team significantly. It’s all about the leverage. Using critical thinking like adults do, we can all figure out that you have to be a star to successfully complete a contract holdout. Hopkins, after all, is the only proven weapon on the Texans offense this year.

Still, it’s hard to respect a contract holdout. Although a player may not be represented fairly, you’re still putting the progress of your team, teammates, and coaches on hold for your own financial security. It’s selfish.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not as selfish as it seems. Players in the NFL really aren’t making enough money. Not only are they making less than most Major League basketball and baseball players, they’re also risking their bodies and brain the most both short term and long term. With that being said, the ownership in the NFL is easily making billions upon billions of dollars and won’t even pay for their own stadiums. Instead, they hold a city for ransom and threaten to leave if the city won’t pay up. Yet, we still think the players are selfish. Money, as it does in every other industry, makes things complicated.

DeAndre understands that very well. The young wideout left last Saturday’s practice and verbally announced his reasonings: he’s unhappy with his contract. The Twittersphere blew up, Sportscenter dedicated a block of time to Nuk’s contract, and Texans fans everywhere were terrified. Yet, he showed up for work the next day.

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Sunday workouts at the Texans facility featured one Deandre Hopkins back to work the next day. Hopkins did the holdout perfectly. He showed how unhappy he was with his contract, and he showed the severity he could go to if things didn’t change. Yet, he also proved to the Texans why they should up his pay. This was a statement holdout, not the real deal.

Essentially, Hopkins told the Texans why they should take him seriously. Hopkins is a hard worker and a good teammate (hence why he will still be coming to practice), but if they don’t take him seriously he will leave. Don’t believe him, you think he’s bluffing? He’s done it before, and he will do it again. On top of it all, the obnoxious fans out there like myself who would normally have an issue with a long contract holdout have respect for this move. The ball is totally in the Texans court now and they don’t have a choice but to pay up, but there’s a total sense of respect about it.

Brilliant move by Nuk Hopkins if you ask me.


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