Agents Tech: DeAndre Hopkins was a big winner in the self-pledged contract extension with the Cardinals


DeAndre Hopkins slammed the NFL community on Tuesday when news broke about a contract negotiating without an agent. The perennial All-Pro wide receiver competed in June with his agent, Todd France. Instead, Hopkins, who was dealt to Texas in March, used a small team of trusted advisors to assist him in his contract discussion with the Cardinals.

This deal is better than anyone imagined. Hopkins signed a two-year, $ 54.5 million contract extension for $ 27.25 million per year. Hopkins’ contract is fully guaranteed at $ 42.75 million, including a $ 27.5 million signing bonus. Hopkins received a no-trade clause, the final year of the contract could be void based on his performance and the Cardinals cannot name him as a franchise or transition player when the deal ends.

Some people are mistaking the deal for an average of $ 94.415 million for five years at $ 18.883 million per year as Hopkins had three years left on his contract of $ 39.915 million. This is not how contract negotiations work in the NFL. Every deal I made in my many years as an agent was over how much new money and how many new contract years a player had in their contract years. Negotiations were broken like if a player was not already under contract.

The former longtime Eagles president and Brown CEO Joe Banner agreed. His initial mastery of the salary cap and the philosophy of re-signing core players before his contracts were terminated were instrumental in the performance of four consecutive NFC Championship games in Philadelphia in the early 2000s.

The numbers

Hopkins had a goal of making $ 12.5 million this year, $ 13.5 million in 2021, and $ 13.915 million in 2022 before their expansion. Hopkins did not guarantee any money.

This year Hopkins is raising $ 16.5 million. His 2020 compensation guarantees a signed bonus of $ 27.5 million and a base salary of $ 1.5 million in full. The Cardinals gain $ 5.5 million in salary cap room in the process as Hopkins’ 2020 cap number increases from $ 12.5 million to $ 7 million.

There is a $ 9 million option bonus in 2021 to take Hopkins’ 2024 contract year with a base salary of $ 14.915 million. The 2024 option must be exercised during the first 10 days of the 2021 league year. If the Cardinals refuse to take the option, then $ 9 million must still be paid. In both cases, Hopkins is fully guaranteed a $ 4.75 million 2021 base salary. Since the option bonus is predetermined in the same manner as signing and it is a certain certainty that the 2024 contract year will be raised, the Cardinals will receive $ 1 million in 2021 cap relief from Hopkins’ extension. His new 2021 cap number is $ 12.5 million.

Hopkins’ $ 6.65 million 2022 base salary, which is a guarantee of injury at signing, becomes fully guaranteed next March, the fifth day of the 2021 league year. He also has a fifth day in the league roster bonus of $ 10.65 million in 2022. Hopkins’ 2023 base salary is $ 19.45 million. The cap numbers for 2022, 2023 and 2024 are $ 25.05 million, $ 27.2 million and $ 22.665 million respectively.

Pointless provision

Hopkins could reduce the 2024 contract year to zero based on his performance during 2020 through the 2023 season. Hopkins has four different ways to exit the final year. Hopkins can keep his freedom by catching at least 400 passes, reaching 5,000 yards, receiving 40 or more touchdowns, or getting a first-team All-Pro / All-NFL name four times. It would be sufficient to complete any one of these four things.

Hopkins has a good chance of voiding the 2024 contract if he continues to produce yet during his career. He caught 400 catches in 2015 during the 2018 seasons. Hopkins had 5,425 yards during this period. He has hit 5,000 yards during a four-year span of 2014 through 2017 (5,063) and 2016 through 2019 (5,069). Hopkins has the most touchdowns during four straight seasons. This was from 2015 through 2018. He currently has a three-year streak of first-team All-Pro / All-NFL honors, the longest time of his career.

The Hopkins deal, which expires the final year of the contract, would have to extend a year for $ 39.585 million. At 31, Hopkins would have profited immensely over the Cardinals for a new contract, as he discusses outstanding performance with the NFL’s best wide receiver due to his inability to thank him for franchise / transition tag prohibition for free agency Remaining in .

Negotiate a deal

Hopkins becomes the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history at $ 27.25 million per year. Calvin Johnson was the last wide receiver to become the NFL’s highest-grossing non-quarterback in 2012 when he signed seven-year, 113.45 million extensions at an average of $ 16,207,143 per year. Johnson replaces Cardinals wide receiver Larry FitzGerald, who signed a $ 113 million extension shortly after the 2011 lockout ended, as the top unpaid quarterback. Since 2014, a defensive lineman or edge rusher has set the market for non-quarterbacks.

Hopkins raises the bar for the wide receiver market by about 24 percent. Julio Jones was the league’s highest-paid wide receiver with three years, an average of $ 22 million expansion from the Falcons in 2019, an average of $ 66 million. He also at least guarantees Jones’ wide receiver $ 64 million full signing and $ 66. Millions of overall guarantees.

Hopkins’ $ 27.5 million bonus is the largest for a wide receiver and the fifth largest for non-quarterly currently under contract. His $ 42.75 million full guarantee is the second best in a wide receiver contract. Hopkins overall guarantee is $ 49.4 million. This is practically $ 60.05 million, which is equivalent to their cash in the first three years since their 2022 salary was guaranteed in 2022. Getting rid of Hopkins would be too cost-prohibitive from a salary cap standpoint, ahead of his 2022 roster bonus of $ 10.65 million. .

Hopkins also ranks second after Jones’ $ 66 million in three years of cash. His $ 60.05 million is $ 50,000 from Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper. With $ 60.05 million in cash, Hopkins is receiving a $ 20.135 million raise during the remaining three years of his contract.

It is speculative that Hopkins may have outperformed Jones in most of all categories where she has followed him, where he did not push for a way to get the deal out of the way early so they could negotiate To come back to the table. Hopkins is the second highest-paid player in the league due to a potentially zero mechanism. Declining the deal for a one-year extension of $ 39.585 million would overtake his former Texas quarterback Deshawn Watson for $ 585,000 a year, having just signed a four-year, $ 156 million extension at an average of $ 39 million per year. Done.

Even if Hopkins can’t hit the performance threshold to zero, he has a crazily filled front extension. He receives more than 72.5 percent by the end of 2023, the first new year of a new contract. The Cardinals really should have emphasized more team-friendly cash flow where Hopkins’ 2024 compensation was at least $ 20 million because zeroing is a possibility.

That is something I pay attention to how contracts are adjusted for salary cap inflation. Hopkins’s $ 27.25 million per year is the highest for a non-quarter since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement was implemented. Johnson and FitzGerald’s deals amount to $ 26,635,620 per year and $ 26,579,558 under the current $ 198.2 million salary cap.

Hopkins’ $ 27.25 million per year is the seventh best when all contracts in the salary cap era are adjusted. He is just behind Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss, whose $ 9.3 million expansion from 2001 to $ 27,346,043 per year in today’s salary cap environment.

final thoughts

Hopkins has aspirations to become a general manager, when his playing days are over. He hit a stunning slam home run in his first innings in the NFL business world. Some of the concessions they get from the Cardinals, such as the Zero Mechanism and any franchise / transition tag clauses, are surprising. Hopkins may someday run for the NFL Executive of the Year Award, when he begins his second career.