(SportsRadio 610) -- DeAndre Hopkins wanted a raise.
That's been widely reported, and it's reasonable to consider if you look at contracts for comparable receivers.
The trade to the Arizona Cardinals was ultimately the outcome Hopkins wanted, he said.
Hopkins wanted a fresh start after finding himself underpaid and at odds with head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien.
"There was no relationship," Hopkins told SI.
But once there was a private conversation between them last season -- referencing his off-field associates and comparing the meeting to a previous one O'Brien had with Aaron Hernandez -- Hopkins clearly felt disrespected.
In the SI interview, Hopkins addresses the talking point that he didn't practice enough; whether he "hung with the wrong crowd"; and that his play dipped in 2019, when he was still named an All-Pro for a third consecutive season.
Hopkins also expressed affection for his former Texans teammates like Deshaun Watson, who he said would "be amazing without me."
The interview brings some clarity to the Hopkins trade, which shocked the NFL world more than a month ago. The Texans sent Hopkins to the Cardinals for running back David Johnson, the 40th overall pick in this year's draft, and a fourth-round swap for next year's draft.
It has been widely panned as one of the worst in NFL history, and certainly the head-scratcher of this peculiar off-season.
O'Brien has defended the trade as a move that was in the best interest of the team.
Hopkins just made it clear that because of his outdated deal, and distrust of O'Brien, he no longer wanted to be on the team.
After the Texans lost to the Chiefs in the divisional round, Hopkins knew the Texans would have to continue their Super Bowl quest without him, the SI article indicates:
As Hopkins, 27, sat down at his locker after the game, surrounded by silence and his teammates, he had two thoughts: that the Texans had given their long-suffering fan base a future to look forward to and that they would need to end their string of playoff disappointments without him. The wideout had spoken to his family throughout the season about his desire to start over, with a new team, and, more specifically, with a new boss. He believed that Bill O’Brien, the lone NFL coach to also hold a general manager title, had been shopping him for more than a year.
To the rest of a football-obsessed world, the idea that any team would unload an elite player in his prime—let alone one who had never carried a diva label, proposed to a kicking net or ripped his quarterback (even with the uncertainty under center that preceded Watson)—seemed ludicrous. But the trade that shocked the rest of the NFL came as no surprise to Hopkins.