NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin has said DeAndre Hopkins told him that Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien made a reference to the late Aaron Hernandez in a meeting before he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. New Jersey online sportsbooks are accepting prop bets on the market as well as sports betting apps in Indiana set their odds on the market.
Hopkins, 27, announced on Tuesday that he was set to leave the Texans after seven seasons with the franchise and was on his way to State Farm Stadium. The wide receiver’s departure is a significant loss for Houston, and one that O’Brien may have perhaps helped to avoid.
Irvin—a three-time Super Bowl champions with the Dallas Cowboys—spoke to ESPN Get Up (via Ryan Glasspiegel of The Big Lead) and shared an anecdote from a meeting Hopkins recently had with O’Brien, who told his wide-out “the last time I had a meeting like this, it was with Aaron Hernandez.”
Irvin recounted the story in full and suggested O’Brien also took umbrage with Hopkins having his “baby mamas around” sometimes:
“He told me, he said, Michael, it was a bit of a power struggle there because Bill O’Brien thought he had too much influence over the locker room. He called DeAndre Hopkins in a meeting to talk about this and to kind of get this — hash it out. 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.’ 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.’
Any comparisons to Hernandez—the former New England Patriots tight-end who was jailed for murder but committed suicide in prison in April 2017—are not likely to have gone down well.
O’Brien was on the Patriots coaching staff in various positions between 2007 and 2011 before he joined Penn State and later became head coach with the Texans.
It’s uncertain if the comments Irvin alleged were any defining factor in Hopkins’ decision to leave NRG Stadium, though they certainly aren’t likely to have helped.