Texans receiver Andre Johnson is unsure if he’ll play for the Texans this year.
Asked on NFL Network if he’ll be in a Texans uniform for Week One, Johnson answered, “I don’t know. I can’t answer that question.”
Johnson, who skipped both voluntary workouts and mandatory minicamp, said he has spoken with the organization about his reasons for being unsure about his future, but he won’t speak to the media about it.
“I just choose not to talk publicly about it,” Johnson said. “It’s in-house and that’s the way I choose to keep it. I’m not a big media guy, so I won’t — you know, I refuse to talk about it. Training camp’s a few weeks away, so we’ll see what happens.”
Johnson, who turns 33 tomorrow, could retire. But that would be a very costly decision: Johnson would be walking away from a $10 million base salary if he doesn’t play this year, and the Texans could also force him to pay back $8.7 million in bonus money he has previously received. Johnson doesn’t sound like he wants to be part of the Texans’ rebuilding effort, but is he so opposed to playing in Houston this year that he would give up $18.7 million?
It’s possible that the Texans could trade Johnson, but the team hasn’t shown any interest in doing that. And there probably wouldn’t be any takers unless Johnson were willing to lower his base salary.
So far Johnson has cost himself a little more than $1 million by not earning an offseason workout bonus and getting fined for missing mandatory minicamp. The Texans can fine him $30,000 a day if he skips training camp. Staying away from the Texans has already cost him a lot of money, but staying away for good would cost much more.