Speaking to ESPN AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, Texans G.M. Rick Smith made it clear that the team has a deadline for negotiations about a restructured contract for wide receiver Andre Johnson.
“Our policy’s been that we’ll look at deals and we’ll try to get things done during the offseason,” explained Smith. ”But once the season starts, our entire focus as an organization goes to football and playing games.”
Smith acknowledged that the Texans have been in discussions with Johnson’s new agent, Kennard McGuire, though no new deal seems imminent.
“It’s pretty well known that he’s hired Kennard and we’ve been in contact,” Smith confirmed. ”So I’ll just leave it there.”
Though Johnson has outplayed the eight-year, $60 million extension he signed in 2007 relative to other top NFL receivers, his camp is in a difficult position. The Texans have Johnson under control through the 2014 season, with impending salaries of $5.8 million (2010), $6.8 million (2011), $7.3 million (2012), $7 million (2013), and $7.3 million (2014).
The sides will have to get creative to get something done before Smith’s deadline.