HOUSTON -- Out of a very dull draft class in 2013, for the Houston Texans and league-wide overall, there were few bright spots.
DeAndre Hopkins was one of the few highlights. But now he and the Texans are approaching a time when they'll have to make a decision about his future.
"If I could play my whole career here, I would," Hopkins said this weekend during an autograph signing hosted by Tristar. "I love this place. This organization took a chance on drafting me. You have to look at that and take that into consideration."
Hopkins is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract and the Texans' deadline to pick up his fifth-year option is in May, as it is for all first-round picks under the collective bargaining agreement.
In theory, the Texans could pick up his option and extend him before the option year instead of this offseason. That hasn't been their style, however. Two years ago they did pick up J.J. Watt's fifth-year option, but they re-signed him before he entered his fourth season. Last year the Texans opted not to pick up outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus' fifth-year option, instead giving him a four-year extension right around the deadline.
Most players hope to spend their entire careers in one city, have a long-lasting impact and find team success. Andre Johnson hoped for that and almost got it until an ugly end with the Texans last offseason.
His departure opened the door for Hopkins to star. This season Hopkins made his first Pro Bowl, despite catching passes from four different starting quarterbacks. He is the only player in NFL history to have caught 100-yard games in a season from four different starters.
Hopkins recently switched his representation to CAA, the same high-powered agency that represents Watt. Business decisions often dictate what happens in negotiations, but Hopkins wants it to work with the Texans.
"I love this place, I love this organization, I love the fans here," he said. "I’ll never forget after I went 2-14. I don’t recall any fans bailing out on us."