Though the package they got in return for him was pretty universally panned, one of the reasons that some think that Bill O'Brien and the Houston Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason was because he may soon ask for a pay raise, one it may have been hard for them to accommodate with a new deal for left tackle Laremy Tunsil and one looming for quarterback Deshaun Watson.
If Hopkins does soon ask for a new deal, it would be hard to fault the 27-year-old. Despite being an All-Pro for three consecutive seasons, Hopkins will make just the 11th most overall money among wide receivers in 2020, at $12.5 million. Given the Hall of Fame pace he's on, it's clear that Hopkins has outperformed his current contract.
As Hopkins waits on a new deal that feels inevitable, let's take a look at the 10 wide receivers who will make more than him in 2020, courtesy of Spotrac:
10. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers: $12.875 Million
The Packers didn't do a ton to add to their receiving corps this offseason, which keeps quite a bit of pressure on Adams, whose been an elite talent when he's been able to stay on the field during his first six NFL seasons. Adams probably isn't far off from having just cause for seeking a new deal, as the 27-year-old is entering year three of a four-year/$58 million contract extension.
9. Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears: $13 Million
Even without ever having played with an elite starting quarterback, Robinson has had a pretty successful start to his NFL career. The Penn State product had 98 receptions for 1,147 yards in 2019, despite seemingly every other thing going wrong for the Bears' offense. The 26-year-old is entering the final year of a three-year/$42 million deal, a contract that guaranteed him $25.2 million. If he has another big year, he'll either be taken care of by the Bears or will become a popular free-agent target.
8. Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns: $13.05 Million
Wherever Landry has played, he's produced, regardless of who is throwing him the ball. He actually outperformed his more famous teammate in 2019, as he hauled in 83 passes for 1,174 yards in his second season with the Browns. Landry, 27, is entering year three of a five-year/$75 million deal.
7. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns: $14.25 Million
Beckham had a disappointing first season in Cleveland, but he did so while playing through hip and groin injuries that eventually caused him to have core muscle surgery after the season concluded. Additionally, he was playing in an offense coached by Freddie Kitchens, who the Browns fired after just one season as head coach. The guess here is that OBJ is in line for a major bounce-back season in his second campaign with the Browns. If not, there will be plenty of trade interest in Beckham, who has no guaranteed money left on his deal after the 2020 season.
6. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts: $14.54 Million
In the last two seasons that he played with Andrew Luck at quarterback - 2016 and 2018 - Hilton averaged 1,359 receiving yards. In the last two seasons he's played with Jacoby Brissett and friends at quarterback, Hilton has averaged 733 receiving yards. Granted, he was limited to just 10 games in 2019, but his production has dipped depending on who's been under center. We'll see what type of luck he has with Philip Rivers in 2020. Regardless, the 30-year-old will make $14.54 million in the final season of a five-year/$65 million contract.
5. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs: $16.29 Million
Despite a checkered off-the-field history, the Chiefs rewarded Hill with a three-year/$54 million extension last September, a deal that guaranteed him $35.5 million. Because of how he's handled himself off the field, there is an out in Hill's contract after 2020, one that would leave the Chiefs with just $5.3 million if they released him. Given that he's one of the game's most explosive weapons and just helped the Chiefs to win Super Bowl LIV, it seems unlikely they'll exercise that out unless he gets in trouble again.
4. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $16.75 Million
Once Johnny Manziel's favorite college target, Evans has recorded 1,000 plus receiving yards in each of his six NFL seasons. Despite being one of the most physically-gifted receivers in the sport, the 26-year-old has flown under the radar to some degree so far because the Buccaneers haven't made the playoffs with him. That dynamic will be out the window with Tom Brady in Tampa now. And, of course, when you consider that he signed a five-year/82.5 million extension with $55 million guaranteed in March of 2018, the Buccaneers have always appreciated Evans' dominance.
3. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: $17.86 Million
Even after an ankle injury caused him to miss the entirety of the 2020 season, the Bengals still think highly enough of what Green has left that they used their franchise tag to retain him. The seven-time Pro-Bowler has played in just nine games over the past two seasons, but is one of the best wideouts of his era and could help to ease No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow into the NFL if healthy. When mixed with Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, John Ross III, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon, the Bengals actually could have a pretty strong group of skill-position talent in 2020 if we assume health. If all goes well, the Bengals could pursue an extension with the 31-year-old to keep him with Burrow beyond his rookie season. It's also possible that Green becomes a popular target at the NFL trade deadline and the Bengals turn his franchise tag season into a relatively high draft selection.
2. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys: $20 Million
Despite having made four Pro Bowls in six NFL seasons, Cooper is still only 25 years old. He's also very wealthy after re-signing with the Cowboys on a five-year/$100 million deal this offseason, a pact that guarantees him $60 million. Cooper should benefit from the addition of arguably the most talented wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft class, as CeeDee Lamb fell to the Cowboys with pick No. 17 and will command quite a bit of attention.
1. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons: $22.2 Million
Rather quietly, Jones is on pace to finish his career as one of the most prolific wide receivers in NFL history. In nine seasons, Jones has racked up 12,125 receiving yards, already the 25th highest career total ever. The 30-year-old has also made quite a bit of money in his career, with Spotrac estimating that he's made just shy of $40 million so far. The Falcons rewarded the two-time All-Pro with a three-year/$66 million extension last September, one that guaranteed him $64 million.