The Houston Texans have granted wide receiver Andre Johnson permission to seek a trade this NFL offseason and, if an agreement cannot be reached, the team will reportedly release the 12-year veteran out of the University of Miami. Johnson has spent his entire career with the Texans, but has reached the playoffs just twice. At 33-years-old, Johnson is looking to go out as a winner. If he can find a team willing to trade for him, it would be the ultimate win-win, provided he is not asked to first agree to restructure his contract. If Houston waives Johnson, he would be free to sign with any team, but for far less money than he is currently scheduled to make in 2015. If a deal is possible, would the Texans be able to trade Johnson to the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers Or Miami Dolphins?
Many in New England have long wanted the Patriots to make a strong push to acquire Johnson, but nothing has ever come to fruition. The same was often said of Arizona Cardinals star, Larry Fitzgerald, although Johnson remains an intriguing possibility. The Patriots could use a big-bodied receiver to play on the outside and, despite his age and injury history, Johnson would immediately become a go-to threat for New England. Just imagine opposing secondaries attempting to cover Johnson and Rob Gronkowski in the end zone.
The Colts are another team that could use a big receiver. T.Y. Hilton would remain the No. 1 option, but Johnson could become a great secondary weapon for Andrew Luck as the Colts look to take that next step forward. Indianapolis could still benefit from an upgrade in the backfield, but Johnson would be far more productive than Hakeem Nicks, who was signed last offseason.
In Green Bay, the Packers are unlikely to retain Randall Cobb, especially if the rumors are true that he is seeking $12 annually. The team simply will not pay that. But, with Jordy Nelson still in the fold with some great, young receivers, Johnson would be a very nice addition.
While Doug Baldwin may feel that the Seahawks have plenty of big name receivers, Seattle would be wise to at least look into acquiring Johnson. The former Hurricanes standout would instantly become a favorite of Russell Wilson and add a much needed spark to the passing game.
In Carolina, the Panthers are still looking to equip Cam Newton with a few playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. They appear to have finally hit a home run by drafting Kelvin Benjamin last season. Why not take the next step forward and bring in Johnson to pair with Benjamin on the other side?
Finally, the Dolphins are the team least likely on this list to compete for a Super Bowl in 2015. Or even in 2016. But, the ‘Fins will have plenty of salary cap space this offseason, and Johnson clearly has ties to the area. Johnson could come in and either help mentor Mike Wallace or replace him, all while serving to help Jarvis Landry make Ryan Tannehill a better quarterback.
Either way, it appears certain that Johnson’s tenure with the Texans has come to an end. It is just a matter of where he will land to likely finish out the final couple seasons of what has been an illustrious career.