However, the Texans still want to reduce their starter’s cap number, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle notes. Entering the final season of his Cardinals-constructed contract, Johnson is set to count $8.5MM against the Texans’ 2021 cap. That number is sixth among running backs.
The Texans made David Johnson the centerpiece of a trade most observers immediately criticized, when they acquired him in a deal that sent DeAndre Hopkins to the Cards. But Nick Caserio obviously was not involved in that controversial swap. The new GM has already cut several starters or key contributions — including Duke Johnson, Nick Martin and J.J. Watt — so seeing the Texans attempt to save $6MM-plus by cutting David Johnson would be especially surprising.
In his first Texans season, David Johnson amassed 1,005 scrimmage yards in 12 games. Johnson, who spent time on IR because of a concussion, also upped his per-carry average from 3.7 in his final Arizona season to 4.7 in 2020. Despite entering the NFL in 2015, Johnson will turn 30 this year.
The six-year veteran has $2.1MM guaranteed left on his contract and would be interested in staying with the Texans for a second season, per Wilson. He may need to agree to a pay cut to do so, though the parties could agree to an extension that would reduce his 2021 cap figure.
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