Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins downplays rift with Texans coach Bill O’Brien after trade, Michael Irvin remark

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, recently traded from the Texans, downplayed a reported rift against Houston head coach Bill O’Brien that blew up Wednesday morning after Hall of Fame receiver and NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin said in a television appearance that the relationship between Hopkins and O’Brien had deteriorated.

“This is being blown way out of proportion,” Hopkins posted Wednesday in a message to his verified Twitter account. “As I’ve said before, I enjoyed and am proud of my time with the Texans. I have the utmost respect for Coach O’Brien and that will not change.  Now, I’m ready to play for the Cardinals.”

This is being blown way out of proportion. As I’ve said before, I enjoyed and am proud of my time with the Texans. I have the utmost respect for Coach O’Brien and that will not change.  Now, I’m ready to play for the Cardinals.

The Texans agreed to trade Hopkins and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft to the Cardinals for running back David Johnson, a second-round pick in the 2020 draft and a fourth-round pick in 2021.

Hopkins is a three-time all-pro and largely considered one of the best receivers in football, so the compensation Houston received in the deal was widely criticized as insufficient. O'Brien is also the team's general manager and has full control over Houston's player personnel.

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While being interviewed Wednesday morning on ESPN’s “Get Up!”, Irvin said he spoke to Hopkins to get his take on the trade and that Hopkins offered details over a meeting he and O’Brien had while Hopkins was a member of the Texans.

“He said, ‘Michael, it was a bit of a power struggle there’ because he said Coach O’Brien thought he had too much influence over the locker room,” Irvin said on the broadcast. “He called DeAndre Hopkins in a meeting to talk about this and kind of just hash it out and in that meeting, he started the meeting with telling DeAndre Hopkins this, which blew my mind when DeAndre told me this, he said ‘The last time I had to have a meeting like this, it was with Aaron Hernandez.’ ”

Irvin continued to say that Hopkins told him it “blew my mind” that O’Brien “would equate me with Aaron Hernandez.”

Hernandez was a tight end for the New England Patriots from 2010-12 and worked in New England with O'Brien, who was the team's quarterbacks coach in 2010 and offensive coordinator in 2011. In 2015, Hernandez was convicted of the murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. He was found dead in his cell in 2017, with the cause of death ruled to be suicide by hanging.

Irvin said Hopkins told him the meeting “just deteriorated” from there.

“He got into talking about DeAndre Hopkins, 'cause DeAndre Hopkins has a few kids from different women, and he told DeAndre that he doesn’t like his baby mamas around sometimes,” Irvin said.

Hopkins caught 104 passes for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019, earning his third-consecutive all-pro and Pro Bowl selection.

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