Houston — Texans star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins did not report to training camp Saturday.
Entering his fourth pro season, Hopkins is holding out for a new contract. He is scheduled to make $1 million in salary in the final season of his rookie contract, though the Texans have picked up his fifth-year option.
Hopkins can be fined up to $40,000 for every day he misses camp.
He comes off a huge season with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns despite inconsistency at quarterback and few other receiving options on the Texans.
Houston general manager Rick Smith said in a statement: “We are disappointed DeAndre has elected not to report to training camp with the rest of his teammates. He has expressed his position regarding his contract status, and we have been clear with both he and his representatives of ours.”
Hopkins was the 27th overall pick in the 2013 draft out of Clemson. He has started all 48 games in his career, making 239 catches for 3,533 yards and 19 touchdowns. He went to the Pro Bowl last season.
Chiefs extend CMU’s Fisher
Eric Fisher could be protecting the blind side for Chiefs quarterbacks for the next six years.
The Chiefs announced they had signed the left tackle from Central Michigan to a contract extension Saturday, the first day veterans such as Fisher joined rookies on the practice field at Missouri Western for training camp.
The Chiefs did not announce terms of the extension, but multiple media reports said it was a four-year, $48 million deal that includes $40 million guaranteed.
Fisher, 25, is starting the final year of his rookie contract, and the Chiefs exercised their fifth-year option on the 2013 No. 1 overall pick in May. That means Fisher’s total deal spans six years and $63 million.
Falcons’ Jones downplays injury
Julio Jones insists the apparent foot injury that has limited him the first three days of Falcons training camp is no big deal.
Jones took part in individual work but was held out of team drills for the second straight day Saturday. He was pulled out of the first practice on Thursday. The star wide receiver says the injury is “definitely nothing to worry about.”
Jones had his left shoe off and was seen rolling his foot over a ball on the sideline during Saturday’s team drills. He has had two surgeries on his right foot.
Vikings being cautious with Peterson
The Vikings have taken a cautious start to the season with running back Adrian Peterson, because of a hamstring pull he suffered prior to training camp while working out.
Peterson has been held out of full-team drills, doing some conditioning work on the side.
“He can do things. He just can’t turn it all the way. So we’re just being careful,” coach Mike Zimmer said.
The Vikings kept kickoff returner / wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson out of practice Saturday, following an injury around his left shoulder Friday that occurred while he fell trying to make a catch. Patterson was in immediate discomfort after the play but appeared to be in good spirits later.
Super Bowl sex trafficking
Law enforcement officials are bracing for a surge in internet sex trafficking when Minnesota hosts the 2018 Super Bowl.
Prosecutors and police agencies in Minneapolis-St. Paul anticipate hundreds of women and girls will be sold for sex around the time of the game, which is expected to draw 1 million visitors to the Twin Cities over 10 days, the Star Tribune reported.
“There’s no doubt that when you have an increased amount of individuals congregating, and when alcohol is involved, that you are going to have an increase in crime committed. It’s naive to assume it wouldn’t be,” Washington County major crimes prosecutor Imran Ali said.
Before the Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium, another major sporting event is drawing people to Minnesota — the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, which is expected to draw 300,000 visitors this fall.
Already at work is a task force that includes many Twin Cities agencies alarmed by sex trafficking ads spreading on internet sites. Authorities said more juveniles are being forced into the sex trade because the internet has expanded the market.
Victims of sex trafficking are regularly transported for sale at “lucrative venues” such as major sporting events, the FBI recently reported.
“They’re targeting those that are mentally ill, are chemically dependent,” Ali said.