While there hasn't been any obvious rifts in the past between Hopkins and anyone in the organization, namely GM/coach Bill O'Brien, hall of fame receiver Michael Irvin claimed the reason may have stemmed from O'Brien being unsettled with Hopkins.
Irvin made the claim while as a guest on the ESPN program "Get Up" on Wednesday. Irvin told the show he called Hopkins in the immediate wake of the trade Monday. Irvin said at that point Hopkins "kept the high road" and expressed being happy with heading to the Arizona Cardinals.
SEE ALSO: Houston Texans trade wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson
However, Irvin, who is a regular in-studio analyst for the NFL Network, said he called Hopkins again Tuesday and pressed Hopkins about what happened. It was during this call, Irvin claimed, that Hopkins revealed O'Brien having a meeting with him that he hasn't had since one with former New England Patriot and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez.
"Michael, it was a bit of a power struggle there. Coach O'Brien thought (Hopkins) had too much of an influence over the locker room," Irvin told the program, relating the meeting. "In that meeting, (O'Brien) started the meeting telling DeAndre Hopkins...'hey, uh, the last time I had to have a meeting like this, it was Aaron Hernandez.'"
"'He put in Aaron Hernandez in this meeting?'" Irvin recalled asking Hopkins.
In response, Hopkins told Irvin "that blew my mind" because he had never gotten in trouble.
"'I don't know why he would equate me with Aaron Hernandez,'" Irvin quoted Hopkins.
Irvin then said the meeting "deteriorated," claiming Hopkins was told O'Brien did not like that he had "his baby mamas around."
"From there, I think, the relationship just went bad," Irvin said.
Late Wednesday morning, Hopkins responded to Irvin's account of their conversation, opting to downplay what was claimed to be said.
"This is being blown way out of proportion. As I've said before, I enjoyed and am proud of my time with the Texans. I have the utmost respect for Coach O'Brien and that will not change," Hopkins tweeted.
This is being blown way out of proportion. As I’ve said before, I enjoyed and am proud of my time with the Texans. I have the utmost respect for Coach O’Brien and that will not change. Now, I’m ready to play for the Cardinals.— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) March 18, 2020
Nevertheless, the Hopkins trade has already gained instant criticism for O'Brien, whom many fans are calling for his firing.