Texans receiver Andre Johnson showed up for training camp without anything more than (most likely) a waiver of the $70,000 in fines he racked up for missing a mandatory minicamp. So why did he do it?
For starters, he surely didn’t want to lose any more money, after squandering a $1 million roster bonus by staying away from the offseason program.
Per a source with direct knowledge of the situation, “[Johnson] reported after getting some comfort on direction and comfort on his future security. He got a strong word from ownership that his future is strongly secure.”
That comfort came from communications with the team. Via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, those communications included a meeting last Friday with owner Bob McNair, coach Bill O’Brien, and G.M. Rick Smith.
While none of that is legally binding, it suggests that Johnson will get all or most of his $11.5 million in 2014, even though the salary carries with it a $16.1 million cap number, due in large part to past team-friendly restructurings. And even though the Texans could still renege on whatever “comfort” he was provided regarding his future security, it would send a horrible message to the rest of the locker room.
Johnson also feels confident that the team isn’t rebuilding. Whether he feels that way after the season depends largely on how the season goes.