While a number of players didn’t show up to voluntary team activities around the league, the biggest name was Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson, 33, is still one of the best receivers in the NFL and his discontent with the team where he’s played his whole career seems to be growing. Now, without a clear-cut viable starting quarterback, will Johnson demand a trade?
Last night on Twitter, Jets running back Chris Johnson exuberantly proclaimed that he would be on board with the Jets making such a move.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comThere is no question that adding a player of Andre Johnson’s caliber would be a massive addition for the Jets offense. Johnson ranked just No. 31 at Football Outsiders among all active receivers last year, but he had Matt Schaub and Case Keenum throwing him the football. Still, Johnson managed to put up over 1,400 yards on over 100 catches.
Johnson could be in the final (and most expensive) years of his career, but with a better quarterback and better overall team, Johnson could be a big part of a Jets resurgence.
The big question for the Jets is cost. The Jets most assuredly have the cap space to acquire a player like Johnson, who would count over $10 million against the cap, but the Jets still have more than $23 million in cap space. The Texans would accelerate former guarantees by moving him to another team and that could factor into any decisions they make.
Bill O’Brien and the Texans aren’t likely to part cheaply with one of the best players in the franchise’s short history. One would think that O’Brien, a Belichick disciple, wants to send a message as to who is in control of the team.
It’s hard to say exactly what it would take to pry Johnson away from the Texans. Stevie Johnson was traded for a fourth (with conditions for a third) rounder, so expect that anything involving Andre Johnson would cost more … potentially two third rounders (a la Brandon Marshall) or maybe a second rounder and a late third day pick. For a man who prides himself on building through the draft, that seems like more than Jets GM John Idzik would want to spend, especially after watching him wait out trading for players like Ed Reed, DeSean Jackson and Chris Ivory over the last year.
Idzik seems someone who comes up with a plan and sticks with it, rarely getting distracted by shiny objects along the way. This offseason, Idzik signed Eric Decker as the team’s top receiver, signed Chris Johnson and drafted TE Jace Amaro in the second round before adding three other receivers through the draft.
Adding a player like Andre Johnson would make the offense much more dangerous, but would it balance out Johnson’s long term plan and the moves he has just made over the last three months?