Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins made some history this week when he landed a new contract that made him the highest-paid wide receiver ever in the NFL. As a matter of fact, Hopkins' two-year, $54.5 million extension was so big that it actually made him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league.
Although the numbers in the receiver's new contract were record-breaking, there was actually something even more impressive about the deal, and that's the fact that Hopkins negotiated the entire thing himself. Back in June, Hopkins cut ties with the group that had been representing him, CAA Sports, which meant he had to handle his recent negotiations with Arizona on his own.
Over the past few years, there have been multiple players who have negotiated their own deals including Russell Okung, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner and Laremy Tunsil. But none of them were as successful as Hopkins, although Tunsil did come close, which possibly means that getting traded to or from the Texans is a great strategy for stars who want to negotiate their own extensions.
So why did Hopkins decide to handle his own deal?
Apparently, the Cardinals receiver has aspirations of working in an NFL front office once his career is over.
"It's ownership and me believing in myself and my abilities to study the terminology of contracts and me knowing where I want to be after football," Hopkins said this week, via The Arizona Republic. "I know one day I want to be a part of an organization and help build it, so I feel like this was a good time to learn and study everything that hopefully, I'll one day be doing."
Hopkins also wanted to prove to other players around the league that you can negotiate your own deal without being taken advantage of.
"I think also just showing other players that you can get things done yourself if you believe in yourself and have the right team around you," Hopkins said. "Agents are great. There's never no knock on the agent or nothing against the agent that I had previously. There was no bad ties with them. It was just something that I wanted to do myself."
Hopkins, who says he handled roughly "90%" of the negotiations, made sure to share a picture of his agent on social media after the contract was signed.
As for the contract, it seems there were a few sleepless nights during negotiations.
"There was a lot of reading, a lot of nights staying up late learning the language and terminology of everything," Hopkins said. "My advisers, my team that I had, those guys are with me and have been with me for years now. They're not just advisers, but also family and mentors to me."
If you include the money in his new extension, Hopkins is now under contract in Arizona for the next five years at a total of $94 million, and if he plays as well with the Cardinals as he did with the Texans, then the Cards will definitely be getting their money's worth in this new deal.