Andre Johnson: I don’t know if I’ll play for the Texans this year

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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.

98 responses to “Andre Johnson: I don’t know if I’ll play for the Texans this year

  1. Maybe Ray Farmer can redeem his own stupidity and make a trade for Andre Johnson to make up for the dumb decision of passing on Sammy Watkins, so that Hoyer or Manziel have a quality WR to throw to.

    I doubt Andre Johnson would want to come here, but the Browns need a top notch WR.

  2. In some alternative universe somewhere, he’s already been signed by the Patriots. Seems unlikely in this one though.

  3. I get his position, and it’s a sad final chapter in a great career. Houston appears to be mailing it in and they should let Andre have a chance at a ring in my opinion. I don’t think the Texans could have handled this situation more poorly.

  4. This guy is 33 yrs old and making that kind of money i dont understand. The team has not ask him to take a pay cut at least they are not saying. This team is not that far away from being a playoff team. I like this guy he has aways been a pro about everything thats why it does not make sense to me, i belive its more to that than what the team is saying, but we’er see.

  5. I wonder what his value on the market would be if the Texas opened the phone lines? I’m sure the Eagles would be interested since half of their roster came from Houston

  6. Texans will only hold him to the fines if he starts missing games and we all know the players eventually cave. I think the longest holdout ever was Emmit Smith for 48 days.

  7. He’ll be a Texan… Nobody will pay him 10 million & passing that up is just foolish no matter how disgruntled he may be & having to pay back an additional 8 is not gonna happen….
    He can skip all of training camp & still come back to team by first game to prove his point….he’s given up on texans but not the money…

  8. I’m disappointed Andre has chosen this route. McNair redid his contract, one that didn’t pay him like an elite receiver and was negotiated by him, because he was sulking about it.

    He didn’t have to do anything but in fairness and out of respect for his contributions to the team McNair took care of him.

    Andre, it’s your turn……

  9. Case Keenam? Ryan Fitzpatrick? TJ Yates??? He’s tired of not having a decent NFL caliber QB throwing him the ball. Just watch, the wheels are in motion for him to join the Patriots. Belichick doesn’t want to give up a lot but he knows that Brady’s window is closing and Andre is still an elite WR. Maybe Ryan Mallett plus a 3rd round pick for Andre (Texans need better QBs and Bill O’Brien knows his talent and Patriots need a better WR).

  10. Wow… he walked away from a million dollars for not working out for a couple months? I know he has made a ton of money already, but that seems crazy to me. There isn’t much I wouldn’t do to earn one mill in a couple months.

  11. Houston’s devalued the quarterback position to an insane degree, and Andre Johnson is seemingly the only person that cares.

    The management, the media, and fans will continue to delude themselves that a quality QB is unnecessary by repeating the “defense wins championships!” cliche like a mantra, hoping that if they say it enough time it becomes true.

    The last team that even applies to is the 2002 Ravens, who played in an era right after the top QBs of the league retired, and the new ones rose to prominence.

    Just let him go. He’s been here since the beginning and given everything to an organization that treats offense like a red-headed stepchild. They’ll overdraft defensive end after defensive end in hopes of getting another JJ Watt, but will either get a fail (Jason Babin, Sam Montgomery) or bail (Connor Barwin, Mario Williams) at best. QB, however, hasn’t earned a draft pick over fourth round since 2003.

    This has to change. The team needs to take offense seriously before it can ever be successful.

  12. Stop the nonsense and play ball of course he’s going to be there it’s just a matter of when. God forbid these jerks would have to get a real job.

  13. What a loser, call his bluff to see if he retires, he just might be stupid enough.

  14. A retail business is a success if it can turn a 10% net profit on sales. One with $100mln in sales, has a net profit of $10mln. There are not many retail businesses with $100mln in revenues. It takes thousands of employees, significant inventory and a lot of retail space to do that. And here, Andre Johnson flicks it off the table like a paper football.

  15. I think he’s probably still waiting to see what the Texans trot out at QB.

    They were supposed to trade for Mallet. Then it sounded like the Pats wanted too much.

    If I were a betting man, he’s waiting to see if the Texans trade for / acquire a QB that inspires some hope.

    Fitzpatrick will get Andre the ball and some stats, but we know he is terrible when it comes to generating W’s.

  16. You do realize if a Trade was to happen that Team would have to pay him over $10M plus lose a high round pick. Sorry, not going to happen! Most Teams including the Patriots do not have the Cap Space anyway. He will hold out and maybe miss a game or two, but he will play for the Texans. Sucks for him, but shed no tears… after all he still gets more to play football for 5 months than we can ever make in a lifetime!

  17. Johnson and a 4th round pick to the 49ers for Crabtree.

    Crabtree is young and talented and ready for a big contract that the 49ers aren’t showing great interest in meeting. With Johnson gone, the Texans could give Crabtree a nice contract.

    The 49ers are ready to win now and Johnson is still an awesome receiver and will be for at least this year and probably two more. If Johnson will adjust his contract down a bit with perhaps some incentives then the 49ers could have an excellent player, a 4th round choice and the uncertainty of Crabtree taken care of.

  18. Houston is a couple years away from competing again, so if they wanted to really see what they have with Hopkins they could look into trading Johnson away and get a draft pick for him.

    The catch is the rest of their receivers are a bunch of guys nobody has ever heard of, so they’d likely be pushing back their entire timeline if they chose to trade Johnson.

  19. Last two years couldn’t have gone much worse for this guy. He leads in the recruiting of Ed Reed and now wants out himself.

  20. Franchise QB’s don’t grow on trees Andre. Suck it up and do what you signed on to do and stop screwing your teammates.

    I seriously doubt you had a “I leave if I don’t like the QB” clause in your contract.

    Tired of the millionaire cry babies.

    Other than that, we’ll see you in Bmore… around… late August ?

  21. Lol at everyone calling him crazy for turning down the money or spoiled.

    This guy worked hard for years on a terrible team to finally taste success, then it all crumbled below his feet. His team collapsed and got the #1 overall pick, with the whole world knowing they needed a QB. And the best answer they came up with is Tom Savage and Ryan Fitzpatrick?

    He wants a chance to win, and to play for a real organization that isn’t completely a joke and haphazardly run. If you or I stuck it out with an awful company for 10 years with nothing in return, people would be asking why we hadn’t left yet.

  22. Andre is a class act he deserves a shot at a ring. It saddens me to this day that Barry Sanders retired, no one deserved a shot at a ring more than him. Even if that meant letting him go I would of accepted it because what he had done for the franchise. Andre deserves a shot.

  23. Everyone is commenting like he is a has been. He gets no respect because he is own this terrible Houston team year after year. Go take a peek at his stats, he had 109 receptions and over 1400 receiving yards last year. The dude has been a beast his whole career, not the best, but still. I’d be tired of wasting away in Houston too

  24. As a follow up: Andre had the second most receptions in the league last year and was top 7 in receiving yards. And you guys are talking about him taking pay cut? I want what you are smoking.

  25. Just retire then and walk away from 18 million… Nobody really cares, and the sun will still come up tomorrow…

  26. He’s been a great team guy his whole career, and has been loyal. The team has not been loyal back by getting someone to throw him the ball. I don’t feel bad for him in any way when it comes to money, but I think his actions show winning is more important to him at this point in his career. Say what you want, the guy is still very productive.

  27. So i never understood the workouts and camp holdout strategy by players. If I was a pro bowl caliber player who wants out from a team I would have a meeting with the GM and say, ‘Listen, I’m going to be at every workout, every practice, every training camp day, every preseason game and have you relying on me as your #1, taking every pay check. But its funny you know, sometimes people get the flu on Sundays or roll their ankles getting out of bed and can’t make it. If you want to go into this season and not be worried on Sundays, you may want to trade or cut me.’

    It would take a lot of balls to call that bluff and all you have to do is be man enough to follow through if they do.

  28. Patriots?

    Does he want money or does he want a ring?

    Patriots haven’t won since spygate.

  29. What if he’s actually willing to take less money to play for a winning team? Imagine that…

  30. Me,Me,Me,Me. If you don’t like 10 million to be a team player then stay home and see what your worth at 34 after a year off. There are just too many hungry quaility young guys to listen to selffish players anymore.

  31. dude, you have FITZMAGIC. According to the Houston radio, he is good for 9-10 wins. HAHAHAHA. From a Bills fan, we know Fitz is capped at 6 wins.

    But seriously, do what you gotta do Andre. You are a class act, and I love watching you play.

  32. Eh, this organization is starting to become laughable. Just trade Andre already, it’s a joke that Fitzpatrick is the starting qb. Honestly, all this 8-8 talk is a stretch imo. The only reason they’ll approach 8-8 is because of how bad the afc south is. If the Texans were put in most divisions this year, they’d finish with 3-5 wins.

    I deleted a lot of this rant and i’ll give it time before I start throwing names into the fire. I and the rest of the Texans fan base can tell you they’re not very happy with this start.

  33. His situation reminds me of Jones-Drew. A once elite player who’s skills have clearly diminished to everybody watching, except himself.

  34. Don’t play….. Personally I would have you sit the rest of your career out with that attitude.. Nobody forced you to sign with Houston did they?? I get it we all want to play for a winner and Houston had good clubs but you guys choked when it counted and yes you were a part of that

  35. Pull the trigger Billy O. and ship him to New England for a pick or two…Mallet what ever …its only time before it happens…OBrien never deleted BBs number from his phone…..

  36. He’s clearly lost a step and obviously it’s not about the money. If it was, even he would know he’s not worth that kind of money to another team. And if he wants a ring before he retires, why would he go to the Patriots as some have suggested?

  37. The risk doesn’t seem to be worth the reward… Risk your 33 year old body for a team that is only getting worse?

    Talk about costly. The money Johnson is passing up by not playing is nothing compared to the risk of playing for a bad team where nobody’s heart is in it by week 5.

    Hopefully he sticks to his guns and once he starts missing REAL games suddenly texans will start listening and try to find a trade partner.

  38. I’m surprised the Panthers aren’t all over this … offering Jonathan Stewart and a decent draft pick or DeAngelo Williams and a token draft pick … If Carolina had Andre Johnson, it would make an across the board upgrade at the receiver position official for them.

    And for those that think Andre has lost a step? Perhaps you weren’t paying attention to the yet another elite season he put together in 2013. Personally, I’ve watched him in our division all these years and I’m sick of it.

    – Titans Fan

  39. .
    Johnson’s refusal to discuss the situation in detail tells me the parties are working towards a settlement. First year coach Bill Obrien cannot afford a season long distraction with every media event focusing on Johnson.

    The Texans would be better of with compensation and cap relief than an unhappy veteran.

  40. You would be THE PIECE we need to finalize our WRs in Oakland. Reunite with Schaub! Andre Johnson and James Jones
    Lets do it!


  41. My opinion is that he does not want to play for Bill O’Brian. This guy came in and ripped the pictures of him and Watt off the wall and is the exact opposite of Coach “Cupcake” Kubiak. He does not want to play the everybody is a rookie and has to earn their spot on the team. Probably best for both parties to part ways.

  42. When you have been in the league for 10 years, you realize that teams don’t get to the Super Bowl without an elite QB, The Texans failed to address the position even though they had the 1st draft choice. I understand his pain. It’s not always about the $$$ only. At this stage of his career he realizes that Houston will never be in the mix before retirement.

  43. MEMO TO PATRIOT FANS : You AINT getting Andre unless you kidnap him… Brady will throwing to Amendola , Edleman and the other bum recievers yall have this year !!

  44. A player’s responsibility to the team is one thing, but the team also has a responsibility to be the best organization that they can be.

    Hell, Andre actually negotiated his contract -down- to try and help the team get better. Look how they repaid him for that.

    The Texans lied about rebuilding, wasted another year and blew another draft without solving any of the glaring problems, and try to gloss things over by focusing so heavily on the defense that it’s pathetic.

    The continual mismanagement by Rick “I have a job for life, thank you nepotism!” Smith was bad enough, but now you throw Bill O’Brien and his ego into the mix? Adding in the failure rate of Belichick alumni at the head coach position and a guy who’s doing everything in his power to copy New England?

    It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

  45. Andre Johnson is a very smart player. This is a guy that has invested wisely & isn’t spending every dime he makes. No doubt he wants his 10M but unlike other players he can retire & live fine on what he’s got bankrolled if he has to.

    BUT, if he’s traded – Ravens or Pats. And for a shot at a team that has a legitimate chance to take a run at a championship, he will restructure or take a pay cut. At 33 winning & a chance at that ring is what is most important to Andre & honestly ya can’t blame him.

  46. Texans can’t trade Johnson…. No one will take him at that salary. Plus it would be a HUGE cap hit for the Texans.

    It’s not going to happen and I think he knows that.

    I fully expect him to be at camp, and to play this year like the professional he always has been.

    Next year he’ll probably get cut and become a free agent.

    I hate how this has turned out as Dre will always be my favorite Texan of all time. He needs 3 more good years and he’s a HOF lock.

  47. Please lions find a way to get this guy… Have two if the best receivers in the league both named johnson, better yet let them both be #81… Imagine the wreckage to opposing defenses

  48. If you don’t want to play,retire. Simple solution. You have a contract,you make terrific money. If you don’t like the owner,coaching staff or players,retire. If you want a trade,tell them so they can at least try to get something for you.It is all about the team,not the individual. You were and are a great player but you are not irreplaceable.

  49. How tired are you hearing all this crybaby stuff from spoiled football players, they would make it out in the real work force maybe five hours.

  50. I think people forget how fcked up the NFL business side is for these players. If a team is done with you they can cut you whenever. Call it a business decision and whatever agreement you had gets ripped up and you’re discarded like an ugly ex-girlfriend. If the team mails it in and starts a rebuild, a player has no rights to say fck this I want out. This is not what I agreed to. Andre Johnson has been a model football player for that franchise. The fact that there is not some sort of tiered franchise service incentive that allows for him an out in cases like this is kind of Bullshyt. Trade him to my skins for a 2nd round pick next year and we can have the strongest WR unit ever seen in football. Jk. We already do.

  51. Those must be the same bum Patriot WRs that helped blow out the Texans 3 times the last 2 yrs, while scoring 34,41 and 42 pts. Y’all.

    The Texans don’t take a huge cap hit if they trade AJ, they actually get about 4.5 cap relief. Don’t forget, he’s not free if they keep him. He counts about 14.5 mil towards this yrs cap. They would carry about 12 mil in dead money, spread over 2 yrs, if they trade him(all teams carry dead money). But, they wouldn’t have to pay him an additional 33 mil they owe him. Since they’re rebuilding and he’s 33, that doesn’t make sense. Give that money to JJ Watts. That’s why this potential trade makes so much sense. He’d have to put his money where his mouth is and take a pay cut, but since he’s worth over 20 mil, that shouldn’t be a problem.

  52. How come no one has mentioned Denver as a partner? Osweiler and maybe a 2nd or 3rd next year? I can imagine he would “restructure” for the opportunity to play with Peyton. Think of his stats with Peyton throwing him the ball.
    Osweiler sitting behind Manning might have made him another Rodgers behind Farve situation.

  53. It appears to me that age has caught up to him. He is no longer that star talent he once was. If I were Houston I would test the waters for a trade. He would definitely have value (conditional 3rd or even 2nd round draft choice if there were multiple takers) and it sounds as though it may also be an example of addition by subtraction.

    If the trade route is not viable then I would call his bluff. He will not retire with so much money at stake.

  54. It makes sense for the Patriots on the surface but really it doesn’t make sense. First they like to keep a little cushion in case of injuries during the season. Signing Andre, if even possible, would chew up all there cap space. Even if he were take a cut and extension it wouldn’t be easy to fit under the cap. Furthermore, trading for him is as good as saying “hey we’ve given up on our 2nd year WRs”.

    People like to blast the Pats WR corps, but we were still 3rd in the league in scoring last year, despite the fact that every pass catcher on the team besides Edelman (Vereen, Dobson, Boyce, Amendola, Thompkins, Gronk) was injured at one point or another. People need to understand that players improve. Amendola will improve from being healthy and with another year in the system, the trio of rookies will benefit from a full year under their belts. Heck even Gronk is going to improve (only 25). This offense is going to surprise a lot of people this year.

    One last thing, someone said Andre lost a step… Straight bugging. Dude’s an animal. Maybe he loses a step this year or next, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  55. 1. He signed a long-term deal. When you take more long-term security, you sacrifice the flexibility of free-agency. He should live with that decision, as it was solely his.

    2. The idea that the Texans should trade/release him or owe it to him to do so is complete nonsense. Using that logic, every bad team or team who goes through a losing stretch should just trade away their best players. After all, these players “deserve” a ring, right?

  56. Dear Andre,

    It’s time to put on your big boy cap. The thinking part is coming up soon. Follow closely please. By appearing on the NFL network and saying you’re not talking about it, that means you really ARE TALKING ABOUT IT. That was complicated so tune in again for the advanced media class.


  57. Same thing happened with Favre. Only thing he could do to ownership that refused to put weapons around him was to threaten retirement. Eventually competitive spirit and love of game got him back playing (though it wasn’t always pretty). AJ wants them to put players around him (read QB) and it isn’t happening. The competitor in him will be back before season to put up great numbers on a bad team.

  58. I think we’ll be okay if I Johnson does not come back he will be a sellout to his team and to his fans he wears his C on his jersey for Captain not for cry baby

  59. Andre – You signed a contract to play for the Texans. Be a man of your word and play, although suffering through a paltry $18.7 million may be difficult.

  60. So let me get this straight.
    Fitzy is your starting QB. yikes
    Your star RB is coming off back surgery. Double Yikes.
    You continue to play hardball with your only offensive weapon.

    Great news your defense will be better. You’ll only win 5 games but your defense will keep the score close.

    Better hope your D stars like the new 2 gap no penetration bend but don’t break D or this train will come off the track real quick.

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