Texans GM Rick Smith 'absolutely intent' on re-signing WR DeAndre Hopkins

INDIANAPOLIS -- Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith said the team wants to sign wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to a contract extension, but that he doesn't know when it will get done.

Hopkins, who just finished his fourth NFL season, has one more year on his rookie contract after Houston exercised its fifth-year option last offseason. Previously, the Texans had extended each of their first-round picks drafted under the current collective bargaining agreement before or during the fourth year of their deals.

"Our goal is to keep all of our good, young players, and DeAndre is a good, young player," Smith said Thursday. "So yes, we are absolutely intent on re-signing him. When that happens is up for debate, but he's definitely in our plans. ... We certainly want to continue to build around him."

Hopkins, 24, held out to start training camp last season, but only sat out for one day.

Last year, Hopkins could not replicate his breakout 2015, when he had 111 catches for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2016, he finished with 78 catches for 954 yards and four touchdowns, though his production was affected by quarterback Brock Osweiler's struggles during his first season in Houston.

Osweiler and Hopkins were unable to connect as often as the Texans had hoped as the quarterback struggled to throw downfield. Osweiler completed just 26 percent of passes 15 or more yards down the field during the regular season and playoffs. Of Osweiler's 19 total interceptions, 11 came when he was targeting Hopkins.

Texans head coach Bill O'Brien defended Hopkins on Wednesday at the combine, saying "he did make some big plays for us during the season."

"We were 9-7, we won the AFC South. He made some important plays in those games," O'Brien said. "Third-down plays, red area plays. As far as production and things like that, yeah the production dropped off a little bit, but it wasn't anything that he did. I think he's a great player. I love coaching the guy and I'm looking forward to coaching him next year."