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Texans won't negotiate with DeAndre Hopkins, GM says

HOUSTON -- DeAndre Hopkins' holdout has yet to change the perspective of Texans general manager Rick Smith, who says the club has made a "firm decision" not to negotiate with the wide receiver this season.

Hopkins, who is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, did not report to the start of Houston's training camp on Sunday. Hopkins is subject to fines of $40,000 for each day of camp he misses, and Smith confirmed that Hopkins is being fined for his absence.

"His actions are counterintuitive to any of the productive energy that is necessary for anything to get done," Smith said following the team's first training camp practice on Sunday morning.

"His actions are counterintuitive to any of the productive energy that is necessary for anything to get done." Texans GM Rick Smith, on DeAndre Hopkins' holdout

"There are any number of factors that go into when or whether or not to extend a contract," Smith added. "[Hopkins' representatives] came to us this summer and talked to us about that. We contemplated and came to a decision and we communicated that decision to them, and told them it was a firm decision."

Smith said the team was surprised by Hopkins' choice to hold out.

"I didn't expect him to hold out," Smith said. "It was a bit of a surprise. He's made his point, and hopefully he'll be back in camp soon. He's under contract, so there isn't anything to get done other than him coming here."

Hopkins was a first-round pick by Houston in 2013. The Texans extended their first-round picks in 2011 and 2012, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, as they entered their fourth seasons.

"We decided that this was not the right time for a number of reasons," Smith said of the team's decision not to give Hopkins an extension this year.

Because the Texans picked up the fifth-year option on Hopkins' contract in May, he has two seasons remaining on his deal. Hopkins also has a $445,000 roster bonus due on the fifth day of camp that he will miss out on if he hasn't returned.

Smith said Sunday that the team remains in communication with Hopkins and is hopeful of his return.

"We're in constant communication," Smith said of his current relationship with Hopkins. "I never negotiate in the media, and we're not in a negotiation, and our conversations I'll keep between us. But it's positive dialogue, and like I said, he's expressed himself. We've been clear with him with respect to our position as well, and hopefully he'll be in pretty soon."

New starting quarterback Brock Osweiler said Sunday that he also continues to talk with Hopkins, his expected top receiver. Hopkins had 111 catches, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns during the 2015 season while working with four different quarterbacks in Houston.

"DeAndre and I are definitely having communication among each other," Osweiler said. "First of all, he's a great friend and a great teammate. I'm going to be there to support him, but he has to handle his business with the team, and I need to focus on the guys that are here and ready to work.

"But certainly I support DeAndre, and whatever he has to do. And that's his business, between him and the team."

Watt, who is currently on Houston's physically unable to perform list as he recovers from recent back surgery, said he understands Hopkins' position.

"I'm a player, so I advocate for players getting paid," Watt said on Sunday. "If I was in the front office, I'm sure my answer would be different. But I'm a player, and I know that a career is short. And if he feels this is what he needs to do, then this is what he needs to do."

Second-year receiver Jaelen Strong, rookie Will Fuller and veteran slot receiver Cecil Shorts received the majority of repetitions on Sunday with Osweiler and the first-team offense.

"We respect DeAndre and his abilities and his contributions to our football team, and his future contributions to our football team," Smith said. "But he's not here.

"We're here, we're working, and our football team had a good day today. That's where our focus is."