BOSTON (CBS) — Bill O’Brien has had a rough week. It’s probably going to get a lot rougher.
And it’s only Wednesday.
According to Michael Irvin, O’Brien referenced his own history with Aaron Hernandez during a sitdown meeting with Hopkins.
Granted, Irvin is not a reporter, but he said he spoke directly with Hopkins and relayed the message.
Here’s what Irvin said:
It was a bit of a power struggle there, because Bill O’Brien thought [Hopkins] had too much influence over the locker room. He called DeAndre Hopkins into a meeting to talk about this, and they kind of just hashed it out.
In that meeting, he started the meeting by telling DeAndre Hopkins this — it blew my mind when DeAndre told me this — he told DeAndre Hopkins, he said, ‘Hey, uh, the last time I had to have a meeting like this it was with Aaron Hernandez.
O’Brien worked with Hernandez in New England, when O’Brien was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2011.
Obviously, considering Hernandez went on trial for three murders, that is not at all a name that any player wants to hear when sitting down for a meeting with his head coach.
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 what he would quite mean with Aaron Hernandez.’
And from there, the meeting just deteriorated.
He got into talking about, DeAndre Hopkins has a few kids from different women, and [O’Brien] told DeAndre he doesn’t like that he has his baby mamas around sometimes.
From that, I think the relationship just went bad. And thus, we got a trade of DeAndre Hopkins from Houston, for basically like I said earlier, a ham sandwich. All because of that relationship.
Michael Irvin says DeAndre Hopkins told him that Bill O’Brien pulled him into a meeting and equated him to Aaron Hernandez. Also O’Brien didn’t like Hopkins having his "Baby Mamas" coming around.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 18, 2020
The Texans’ head coach/general manager traded away Hopkins, an All-Pro receiver, this week in a deal that most observers deemed to be lopsided — and not in Houston’s favor. As such, O’Brien has been criticized from all corners of the football universe — especially after the Vikings got four picks from the Bills (including a first-rounder) in exchange for Stefon Diggs.
Now, the reference to Aaron Hernandez certainly won’t help matters. With free agency opening at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, players may be hesitant to sign up to play for a coach who would make such references in trying to gain some control over his star player.
While O’Brien wasn’t directly comparing Hernandez to Hopkins in terms of criminal or violent activity, the 50-year-old head coach should have known that referencing that name in any way would lead to a problem or two.