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Texans seem likely to keep Andre Johnson for at least one more year

AndreJohnson Getty Images

So why is Andre Johnson frustrated?  He didn’t say directly, but it doesn’t take a genius (which qualifies me to handle it) to figure the situation out.

Coupled with his remarks from last November, when it first became clear that he was perhaps ready to move on from Houston, Johnson’s frustration undoubtedly flows from the team’s refusal to entertain the possibility of trading or cutting him.

For 2014, Johnson’s contract allows the team to keep him at a reasonable salary of $6.5 million.  He’s also due to earn a $1 million roster bonus as of Week One, but he needs to participate in a sufficient number of offseason workouts to get there.  By boycotting the first several weeks of the program, he undoubtedly has blown the bonus — making it even cheaper for the Texans to keep him this year.

Next season, Johnson’s salary bumps to $10.5 million.  That’s the point at which the team likely will decide that his remaining skills no longer justify the financial investment.

The cap hit for moving on also would be lower next year, with only $7.39 million in total remaining dead money remaining on the final two years of Johnson’s contract.  Then again, they could trade him after June 1 of this year, carrying the $4.6 million in cap space that will apply to 2014 whether he’s on the team or not, and avoiding $6.5 million in cash and cap space.

Given that the Texans had added no receivers via veteran free agency or the draft, it seems that they intend to keep Johnson.  And since they know him well after 11 seasons with the team, they surely assume he’ll set aside his frustrations when the time comes to play.

UPDATE 2:08 p.m. ET:  Johnson’s 2014 base salary has escalated to $10 million based on his performance in 2013.  Which means that the Texas would avoid an extra $3.5 million if he is traded or cut this year.

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16 Responses to “Texans seem likely to keep Andre Johnson for at least one more year”
  1. bennyb82 says: May 15, 2014 8:25 AM

    I think they could justify keeping him at $10.5 million if they had a franchise qb getting him the ball. All they need to do is go out and get a franchise qb…

  2. radiofriendly420 says: May 15, 2014 8:26 AM

    Lions fan here, so I am not as up to speed on the Texans as Texans fans.

    Anyone know why he is so upset? Is it because they don’t have a QB? Is it because they let Schaub go? I thought he and Schaub got into a little thing last year? Was it the coaching change?

    Just curious why he wants out so badly…

  3. thestrategyexpert says: May 15, 2014 8:35 AM

    If the Texans make the playoffs things should be fine. But if the Texans tank again then they will have a harder time keeping him happy in addition to further increasing the amount of missed opportunity cost of not trading him for this current year and wasting his value again like they did in each previous season. Apparently the Texans enjoy high stakes poker and losing every time they play the game.

  4. eagleswin says: May 15, 2014 9:40 AM

    Honestly, they should trade him now. The team has no shot in the immediate future so keeping an aging asset who won’t be there when they become competitive again is just not good business.

  5. zoxitic says: May 15, 2014 9:52 AM

    Mistake.
    Get value back while you can. Why would you want a disgruntled player around anyway.

  6. zoxitic says: May 15, 2014 9:55 AM

    I’ve never seen a franchise implode as fast as the Texans. The fans deserve it.

  7. swagjag says: May 15, 2014 10:33 AM

    Lighten up Andre.. It’s not like there were many WRs available in this draft. Oh wait..

  8. jcrileyesq says: May 15, 2014 10:48 AM

    browns should offer a third rounder for him… worth it to teach manziel and gordon how to be a professional

  9. godofwine330 says: May 15, 2014 10:56 AM

    It makes absolutely no sense to blow $1M pouting instead of working out. I don’t want to ever hear about him as one of the former players who is now broke after he blew $1M pouting.

  10. bobzilla1001 says: May 15, 2014 11:21 AM

    Johnson whined about Schaub.
    Schaub is gone.
    Johnson whined about Kubiak.
    Kubiak is gone.
    What’s this guy want?
    Oh, a “franchise quarterback”?
    A “franchise quarterback” is the byproduct of the talent around him. And I guarantee that if the Texans had a so-called highly-paid “franchise quarterback,” Johnson would’ve been unaffordable years ago. Can’t have it both ways in today’s NFL.

  11. mezanine10 says: May 15, 2014 12:17 PM

    If Johnson got graded on a curve, he could regarded as one of the top 3 WRs of all time. Not every WR gets to to have Montana and Young throwing to him. Marvin Harrison didn’t become Marvin Harrison until Peyton arrived in Indy. Johnson has a strong argument that he’s done more with less than any elite WR has ever done.

  12. qadrir says: May 15, 2014 1:15 PM

    He wants to win a championship and is frustrated because of nose dive Texans had last season, He thinks drafting a QB like Brotles would have elevated Texans to the Championship level. The rest of teh Texans organization and fans disagree with him. I think he is showing immaturity. I like where Texans are and am sure we will be a strong contender come next season.

  13. gsyl says: May 15, 2014 1:47 PM

    Seems a trade is inevitable. Nobody would give up $1m in bonus money unless there was a tentative deal in place and he wants to avoid an injury in the interim.

  14. bayoor75 says: May 15, 2014 3:11 PM

    ====================================

    Andre is one of the classiest NFL payers around. In fact, he is the classiest sports personality in the US. He is pissed off because he wants to win championships and because he wants to be on a competitive team. The Texans were going in that direction until last year’s 2-14 season derailed it.

    The vibe down here is that he is frustrated with the direction of the Texans. He was puzzled when the owner and GM decided on an unproven coach (O’Brien) rather than one with a successful history. He also feels that the Texans have not been active in the FA market, especially with respect to the QB position – and all of this points to a rebuilding year for the Texans (an unsuccessful one).
    Andre has been very patient and productive with the Texans and I think it’s just fair to trade him to a contender like he wishes. The flipside of that is that we’ve seen so many top players request for a trade only to suddenly flop with the new team.

    Anyways, that’s the gist of it. The feeling here in Houston is that O’Brien is bound to fail with the lack of activities so far. I am surprised that O’Brien did not request substantial input in personnel decisions as it looks like GM Smith is making all the decisions now and all he wants to do is reduce the wage bill.

  15. notwithkubiak says: May 15, 2014 7:49 PM

    Doesn’t matter if he stays or goes, they are winning the Super Bowl.

  16. clipper222 says: May 16, 2014 11:50 AM

    Ozzie – buy this man a one way ticket to Baltimore!

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