While it’s not clear if he has lodged a formal trade request with the Texans, Andre Johnson appears to be hoping for a deal before the regular season, as Ian Rapoport detailed in a story for NFL.com yesterday. Although Rapoport suggested there were four teams with interest in acquiring the star wideout, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans don’t intend to move Johnson anytime soon.
According to McClain, the Texans would like to see Johnson eventually retire with the club, and the team doesn’t want to set a precedent for future situations where a player may be unhappy with his contract or his role. In McClain’s view, the standoff between the two sides can only end in two ways: Johnson will either report to the team in time for its Week 1 opener against the Redskins, or he’ll sit out the season. And McClain thinks the latter scenario is very unlikely, considering the receiver, who turns 33 today, would forfeit about $588K in salary per missed game.
While there has been speculation that Johnson is unhappy with the team’s quarterback situation and doesn’t want to go through another rebuilding year, McClain dismisses these notions, suggesting that the Texans – who don’t believe they’re in rebuild mode – have never had a star quarterback and Johnson has been just fine up until this point. That may be true, but the former third overall pick is clearly unhappy with the team for some reason, and I suspect it’s not just because of a dispute over his $1MM bonus.
Despite McClain’s confidence that Johnson will eventually report to the Texans, Rapoport suggests (via Twitter) that he’d be “surprised” if that happens, assuming the Texans don’t make any sort of concessions. With both sides apparently digging in as training camp nears, it’ll be interesting to see whether a compromise can be reached, or whether the issue will drag into August and perhaps even September.