Texans have made no apparent plans for life after Andre Johnson

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Tuesday’s comments from Texans receiver Andre Johnson caught plenty of folks by surprise. His team should have seen it coming.

And yet the Texans have done nothing in free agency or the draft to prepare for the possibility that Johnson won’t be with the team that made him the third overall pick in the 2003 draft.

After a loss in November of last season, Johnson exchanged words with quarterback Matt Schaub before leaving the field and heading to the locker room with time left on the clock.

“I’m under contract so I have to play my contract out,” Johnson said after the game regarding his future in Houston. “I can’t do anything about that.”

What he can do is stay away from voluntary workouts, even though he risks losing a $1 million roster bonus that he’ll earn as of Week One if he participates in offseason workouts and fulfills all contractual obligations.

What he also can do is try to persuade the team to trade him or cut him. The team’s reluctance to do so may have something to do with the frustration and the “situation” he has experienced this offseason.

Apart from adding veteran Mike Thomas after the regular season ended, the Texans haven’t signed a free-agent receiver or drafted one.

It could be that the Texans plan to keep Johnson for 2014, hoping that improved performance by the franchise will make him more happy — or perhaps less unhappy.  Or maybe they’re simply waiting to trade him to a team that may need a receiver.  Maybe, for example, a team in Cleveland that may not have Josh Gordon for much longer.

73 responses to “Texans have made no apparent plans for life after Andre Johnson

  1. The only good reason to trade him would be for a franchise QB…and no team is trading their franchise QB for a receiver. Usually it is not a good idea for a team to go out of their way to make one player happy…but Johnson is a guy you want on your team and he has never been a problem.

  2. Andre won’t want to go to Cleveland. Like Houston, they’re rebuilding. He’d want to go to a contender. Likely trade partners would be Denver, New England, SF or Seattle.

  3. They drafted some guy named DeAndre Hopkins last year. He played at Clemson. You might be familiar with him.

  4. Here’s an idea: show up for work, bust your ass, earn your ridiculous paycheck, and look good for your next team. Don’t be a whiny quitter! That’s not what The Browns are looking for!

  5. I see this turning into a trade scenario for Houston to acquire Ryan Mallet, but unfortunately that’s about all you’re going to get for AJ at this stage in his career. Would love to see him in a Browns uniform for a 3rd and/or 4th, but if Houston is smart they’ll be looking for a QB in return.

  6. Andre is a true professional and will handle this situation in such a way. It obviously isn’t ideal for him at the moment, but if he isn’t playing for another team week one — and you can bet he won’t — he will give 100%. Despite all the disarray in Houston last season, this guy still amassed 1407 yards on 109 receptions.

  7. It will be interesting to see how the Texans and Johnson play their cards on this one

    One thing is certain – the Texans didn’t address QB in the draft as everyone thought they might.

    So is there a QB out there they covet? Ryan Mallett as had been rumored before the draft perhaps?

    Perhaps include Johnson in a trade package in which Belichick gains some value and the Texans gain a QB contender while getting rid of a problem child?

  8. Well they squandered his entire career so far so no surprise they don’t have a continuation plan considering there is no utilization plan apparently. Or maybe Tom Savage wins them the Super Bowl this year.

  9. I feel his frustration. You KNOW what he is thinking: here we go again, breaking in yet another rook QB, and no one to divert the D off me.

  10. Look at his QB’s. He’s understandably upset. But he’s been that way since Calvin surpassed him. Nature of the game, Andre.

  11. Ryan Mallet and a 3rd for Andre Johnson and a 5th LETS GO!!!

    Ask Randy what it’s like to go play with Brady at the end of your prime.

    Pull the trigger BB!!

  12. He’s a Hall of Fame-quality wide receiver. The plan to make for life after you lose one of those is, “get used to sucking.” But I think they already have that covered.

  13. Stupid to leave the NFL where teams go from last to first in no time. The Texans will have approximately 40 million in cap space next year…and they’ll be right back in the playoffs in 2015. Once in the playoffs, anything can happen. Dont be dumb Andre…the team has bent over backwards to renegotiate two contracts with you because you wanted more money…and the team obliged.

  14. Uh no. Why would he agree to be traded to another building team with QB issues as well. Beside,I don’t think Cleveland is desperate enough to ink a 32 year old WR getting paid that kind of money.

  15. I don’t blame the Texans at all! The contract was a 7 year deal! He probably pushed for that lol!

    He makes a ton of money this year and the last two years he comes at a great value! That’s why Andre is pissed! He wants to be traded and get a new deal! LOL

    Na Texans arent dumb they are going to make him ride it out and get the last two years of the contract money worth. Then he can go where he wants, including home, as in retirement.

  16. Andre, You have nothing left to prove to any Houston fans, or any reasonable person. If you have a chance to win a SuperBowl in the next year or two, we will root for you to do just that.

    Do what you need to do as a champion.

    Sorry you’ll probably have to take a pay cut if you move to a better team, but most of us would trade our financial situation for yours, even if you never earned another football paycheck. So don’t make a pure money decision. But – Come back to a one day contract when you are ready to retire and be the first Texan in the HOF.

    Or stay here and keep all that money. Maybe, just maybe, this defense can take the load off your shoulders. Steel blue and battle red are your best colors.

    Either way, thank you. Either way, I hope you win the ring you deserve. Either way, here’s a Bum Phillips style hat tip, Andre – From a whole bunch of us that know what a real football player looks like.

  17. It’s the Texans.

    They see a guy do well, let him go, and not replace him. They think they can replace anyone with a shopping manikin and Ed Reed.

    Go ask Connor Barwin, glover quin, eric winston, demeco ryans, james casey, Joel Dreessen, Jacoby Jones, Jason Allen, and Mario Williams.

    Apparently, they couldn’t do no wrong and thus they acted full of themselves.

    After all, you’re a mediocre GM when you let good players leave, keep aging players like Joe Mays and Kevin Walter, and let Kubiak keep Frank Bush as DC from 2007-2010.

    This team was nothing but a tease until Wade Phillips came. Now they’re a bunch of ill-fit players in an incomplete puzzle.

  18. The lions need help on defense, so they’ll definitely trade for Andre Johnson.

  19. Have they made plans for life with Johnson and this season?

    He hints at drafting Manziel, after Schaub burned out harder than anyone in a 4 week span in NFL history, so they sign Ryan Fitzpatrick and draft Tom Savage in the 4th round instead?

    They lose Ben Tate and Arian Foster is coming off his most injury-filled season yet, so they draft LSU’s often-injured backup RB Alfred Blue in the 6th round?

    What in the world are they doing?

  20. I know it’s not realistic but I would love for him to be on the Raiders. We could have the cap room with a few 1’s and 0’s moved around and next year it wouldn’t be crippling either because a ton of one year contracts would drop and be taken over by rookie contracts….just a dreamer dreamin….

  21. I fully support Andre wanting to play on a contender. He has been a loyal and amazing player for many years. I want him to get a ring. Would love to see him in Seattle, NE, GB, Denver, Philly, NO, or Carolina.

  22. With Bill Obrien in H-town, maybe just maybe, BB can swing a Houston -> New England pipeline a reality, much like he did with the Tampa Bay connection.

    Andre would look good in Nautical Blue, Red and New Century Silver.

  23. I feel bad for Texans fans, if Schaub doesn’t get hurt they are a superbowl team back in 2011, now they are in all out rebuilding mode…..

    on another note, 2nd rounder for Andre Johnson, make it happen Ozzie!

  24. Lol love all these pats fan saying trade mallet for Andre. That would be the worst trade they could ever do. Mallet is awful and no better than Fitzpatrick lol guy is a bum

  25. Mallet is completely unproven and never looks stunning in the pre-season. It’s a good point that he might be worse then Fitzpatrick. No one knows. However, if. Johnson wants to go and you may have to cut him, why not get something you need. Mallet could have way more value then a great receiver at the end. Hard to say. It would leave the cupboards bare at backup for the Patriots and with Brady at 37 yrs old it is a massive risk.. Garoppolo can’t win any games if Brady misses a few.

  26. Rezdawg, he renegotiated twice to give the team more cap room.

    This guy took WAY less money on his last contract to stay in Houston than he’d have made on the open market.

    He’s a class act.

  27. @lonestartexan is right

    Andre has given up a lot to stay a Texan. This would be his third building/rebuilding phase.

    Andre is doing what we always say we want our athletes to do. He is putting winning over money. If he gets traded he will have no guaranteed money, and he’ll most definitely have to take a pay cut. That’s not an issue here. Winning is more important to him than money.

    I personally applaud him. I will miss him dearly. He is BY FAR my favorite Texan and the best player this franchise has ever seen. I hope he retires a Texan, but if that means he goes out and gets a ring elsewhere and comes back and signs a 1 day contract then so be it. If anyone deserves it… it’s Andre Johnson.

  28. I think someone had dreams of the Texans drafting a guy who likes to run around a lot from Texas A&M.

  29. Texans are stupid as a bag of rocks. Why keep a guy who’s 33 when he’s not going to be around when the team finally turns around?

    Move him now and get something of value for him.

    The Vikings are going to trade Peterson next year for the same reasons.

    Be smart and move Johnson to a “win now” team like the 49ers and get good value for him. That’s what smart ball clubs do.

    Remember the Herschal Walker deal Dallas did with Minnesota? Same thing.

  30. $12 million in DEAD money for 2014 for Houston to eat plus who wants to pay a WR this kind of money going forward $21 mill over 2 yrs and $30 million in cap charges.
    The only way he plays anywhere else is he is released and signs a new deal with the acquiring team.
    To me, the most productive receiver of his era. A shame professionally he has been in Houston his whole career.
    Financially he has made repeated conscious decisions to extend,renegotiate, redo his contract all which meant, ‘im staying in Houston”.
    he cant gripe now. He took $20 mill in guaranteed money. Again, noone forced his hand, he decided to stay as a Texan.

  31. I don’t get it — the Texans started 2-0 before I fell into the coma I just awoke from. How’d it go?

  32. Looking through the comments it seems like most people are missing a very obvious stumbling block, Andre is virtually untradeable. His cap hit this year is somewhere between 10 and 12 million and he is 32 years old. The free agency feeding frenzy is done with the teams overspending for everyone available and the draft is passed. So the question remains, what team has 10-12 million to spend with a need at WR, and then there is the age thing to consider as well. Also consider that Andre cannot be that teams long term solution at WR due to that age thing again. Oakland had a whole bunch of free cap space a month or so ago but is Oakland in any better shape than the Texans, i.e., would this satisfy Andre’s issue, I highly doubt it. To sum up my feelings, Andre and the Texans FO will work this out and Andre will be a Texan for at least 1 more year.

  33. rajbais says:
    May 14, 2014 1:24 AM
    It’s the Texans.

    They see a guy do well, let him go, and not replace him. They think they can replace anyone with a shopping manikin and Ed Reed.

    Go ask Connor Barwin, glover quin, eric winston, demeco ryans, james casey, Joel Dreessen, Jacoby Jones, Jason Allen, and Mario Williams.

    Apparently, they couldn’t do no wrong and thus they acted full of themselves.

    What garbage.

    Barwin wanted too much money. Money we needed to sign Cushing. He hasn’t set Philly alight.
    Quin was a mistake.
    Winston is/was a journeyman.
    Ryans would have been a salary cap hit and was coming off torn achilles.
    Casey was a utility player who hardly played in Philly.
    Dressen went for more money in Denver.
    Jones was average with the Texans, until he cost us the Ravens play-off game. No great loss at the time. Still drops his fair share in Baltimore.
    Allen – Seriously?
    Williams – Signed the highest contract for DL in league history. Not worth it.

    I’m no great fan of Rick Smith, but you’re examples are horrible. There is a salary cap in the NFL. You can’t keep everyone. Of that group, the only obvious error is Quin.

    As for Andre, we love him, but we’re not going to take $12m of dead salary cap to release him.

  34. If I’m Trent Baalke, I’m phoning with this offer:
    Crab and a 6th for Andre…if Andre understands Niners have many great players and all want to be paid…Would he sacrifice money for titles? Would Crab want to be back home in Texas? Deal could put SF back in title contention…

  35. notwithkubiak says: May 14, 2014 6:39 AM

    Texans are Super Bowl bound – count on it!


    I didn’t realize they were selling tickets already!!

  36. Johnson’s salary in 2014 is $10,000,000

    Johnson’s salary in 2015 is $10,500,000

    Johnson’s salary in 2016 is $11,000,000

    If the Texans were to cut him (they won’t), he would NOT get that kind of money or anywhere close to that kind of money from other teams.

    He will be 33 yrs old and in his 12th NFL season this coming season in 2014.

    Even the Cleveland Browns without Josh Gordon would NOT pay a receiver $31.5 million for his age 33, 34 and 35 seasons that were going to be his 12th, 13th & 14th seasons in the league…

  37. realdealsteel says:
    May 14, 2014 10:37 AM
    Texans are stupid as a bag of rocks. Why keep a guy who’s 33 when he’s not going to be around when the team finally turns around?

    Move him now and get something of value for him.

    The Vikings are going to trade Peterson next year for the same reasons.

    Be smart and move Johnson to a “win now” team like the 49ers and get good value for him. That’s what smart ball clubs do.

    Remember the Herschal Walker deal Dallas did with Minnesota? Same thing.
    First of all Hershel was in his 20’s still. Second of all Adrian Peterson has serious GOAT potential. I don’t see the Vikings giving that up for peanuts, and I don’t see any team throwing picks and players at the Vikings in exchange.

  38. thesmartest1 says: May 13, 2014 10:43 PM

    You know when a true pro starts talking something is wrong.


    I couldn’t agree more. After 11 seasons as an elite player he’s on a team that is rebuilding.

    And just stop with the Browns & how badly they need a WR. They sucked last year & that was w/ Josh Gordon who played better than any WR in the NFL last year & spare me w/ the Manziel garbage. He hasn’t even played a snap in the NFL & people are comparing him to Fran Tarkenton who is a HOFer. The hype around this kid is beyond ridiculous.

    Clearly he wants a chance to win a SB & I don’t blame him.

  39. The only teams I can see him going to that are contenders that probably have the cap space & could use a big time WR are the Patriots & the Chiefs. Carolina doesn’t have the space & the Browns are where QB’s go to die.

  40. According to Joel Corry, one of the best cap experts out there, if they trade Andre before June 2nd the $10M in dead money ONLY counts this season. His $16M comes off the books next year at the same time that Schaub’s, OD’s, etc. contracts come off. This means conceivably the Texans could have not only extra picks but over $30M in cap space available next season.

    The team isn’t going to be a playoff contender this season, especially with Fitzpatrick, Yates, Keenum, Savage, and anything else at QB, so the best move for the Texans to make would be to trade Andre before June 2nd, get the cap relief and build for the future. Even if they were contenders in 2-3 years, there’s little chance that Andre would be around at that time.

    I love Andre, but as a business decision it’s clear what they need to do.

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