Texans Links: Johnson, Season Previews

Jerome Solomon of The Houston Chronicle believes the Texans are being “pretty petty” with star wideout Andre Johnson. Solomon calls GM Rick Smith‘s handling of the Johnson saga one of the top five mistakes of Smith’s tenure, and he goes on to say that owner Bob McNair needs to inject himself into the situation before it gets even more out of hand.

Solomon writes that the team’s denial of a $1MM bonus for Johnson was “cheesy” and that the club should make amends by guaranteeing Johnson’s contract for the 2015 season. In so doing, the Texans–who say they want Johnson to retire in their uniform–would be setting a precedent of “you deliver, we deliver,” a precedent they want the rest of their roster and free agents from other clubs to understand.

The dispute over the bonus and the hard-line stance the team took with it helped turn Johnson’s public disappointment with the team’s horrible 2013 campaign into something much more significant. Solomon believes that Johnson, who may well be the club’s first Hall-of-Famer and Ring-of-Honor inductee, is deserving of the type of “special treatment” that players of his caliber and importance frequently receive (particularly since Johnson has never been a malcontent, underachiever, or off-filed problem). As such, if Houston needs to guarantee his contract for the 2015 season to save face and to restore peace, then that’s what they need to do. And if McNair himself needs to get involved, then so be it.

Now for some more links out of Houston:

  • Joel Corry of The National Football Post tweets that the Johnson situation will go from bad to worse on the sixth day of Johnson’s anticipated holdout, when the Texans can begin to recoup his signing bonus.
  • Brian T. Smith of The Houston Chronicle offers a position-by-position look at the Texans’ roster, noting that last season’s disappointment, combined with a new head coach and a hodgepodge of Pro Bowl talent and unproven question marks, will make for the most intriguing training camp Houston has had in years.
  • Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com projects the Texans’ 53-man roster heading into the 2014 season. She, like the team itself, is expecting Johnson to return.
  • John McClain of The Houston Chronicle looks at best- and worst-case scenarios for the Texans’ 2014 season.
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