Andre Johnson has recently expressed questioning his future with the Houston Texans. While he has spent 11 seasons with the team after being drafted as a star wide receiver with the Miami Hurricanes, Johnson has been the face of the franchise for over a decade. After seeing the team struggle, as it appears the Texans are entering a rebuilding phase, Johnson is wondering if the time is now for both sides to part. Staring at a future catching passes from the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Savage, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates is not all that appealing to a receiver who knows that his career is rapidly coming into the final years. Johnson would like to be in a position to win as his career enters its twilight stage, and he would prefer to do so with a quarterback who can help him win the big game in the final moments. No offense, Matt Schaub. With all of that being said, what are the odds that we could see the Texans trade Johnson to the New England Patriots?
While a deal could make great sense for both teams, due to financial and salary cap reasons, it is rather unlikely. Yet, while the chances may be remote, just think about the possibilities.
The Patriots once again failed to draft a No. 1 wide receiver last week. They won’t sign one either because they will not pay one anywhere near market value. Johnson would cost a lot with a rather large contract, and the dead space that would count against the salary cap in Houston makes a the chances of a trade extremely remote. Still, it could work.
New England would have to likely surrender Ryan Mallett, as well as future draft picks, most likely a second rounder in 2015. Johnson would immediately become the favorite target of Tom Brady, giving him the type of receiver he had when the Patriots traded for Randy Moss, minus the propensity for controversy. Brady knows that his career is also in the final few years, and the team should realize that he simply needs more help in order to get back to the Super Bowl. Johnson could be that help.
Mallett may be a slight upgrade at the quarterback position for Houston. While he ma not be the long-term answer, he could step in and show what he is made of in the final season of his rookie contract. If he plays well, the Texans could look to extend his contract. If not, the team would be free of him after this season. They could then look to next year’s draft to select a future quarterback who could push Savage for the starting position.
In the end, as fun as it is to imagine, I do not see the Texans trading Johnson to the Patriots. Ultimately, I don’t see the Texans being able to deal Johnson to any team, given his contract and what trading him would still do to Houston’s cap. Johnson is likely to finish his career – or at least his current contract – as a member of the Texans.