If you took a poll in the city of Houston about who was loathed more between Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and the coronavirus, it’s possible that O’Brien would win.
On Monday, the Texans traded away All-Pro wide receiver and fan-favorite DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson and draft picks.
The NFL is still stunned, to the point that on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin added a bit of context to why Hopkins was traded and boy was it a story to tell.
“In that meeting, he started the meeting with telling DeAndre Hopkins this, which blew my mind when DeAndre told me this, he told DeAndre Hopkins, he said, ‘Hey, the last time I had to have a meeting like this it was with Aaron Hernandez,’” Irvin said. “I was like, ‘What? He put in Aaron Hernandez in this meeting?’ He said, ‘Yes, he did.’ He said, ‘Michael, that blew my mind that he would even bring that up. I’ve never been in any trouble. I don’t know why he would equate me with Aaron Hernandez.’ And, from there, the meeting just deteriorated.”
“(Hopkins) told me, Michael, it was a bit of a power struggle there because Coach O’Brien thought he had too much influence over the locker room,” Irvin said.
Irvin said that the relationship between Hopkins and O’Brien fell apart after the two met and O’Brien brought up Aaron Hernandez’s name. Hernandez, who once played for O’Brien when both were in New England, was convicted of murder in 2018 and later committed suicide in prison. Irvin also said that O’Brien brought up that he didn’t like Hopkins having the women of his children around the facility.
“He told DeAndre that he doesn’t like that he has his baby mommas around sometimes,” Irvin said. “And, I think from there, the relationship just went bad.”
Hopkins, who had three years remaining on his five-year, $81 million deal that he signed in 2017, reportedly was seeking a raise due to his production on the field and maintaining his All-Pro status as one of, if not the best wideout in football. According to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle, the tension between Hop and O’Brien had been “building for years.”
Hopkins hasn’t spoken publicly about the trade except for a post thanking the city of Houston and embracing the move out West, “The Texans organization served me well, the city of Houston served me well and my teammates served me well. The city of Houston will forever be loved. Now it’s time to bring a championship to AZ!! HOP OUT!!!”