Despite the interest of the Oakland Raiders in a potential trade for superstar wide receiver Andre Johnson in the wake of Johnson’s potential hold out in Houston, the Raiders will be facing a significant challenge in convincing the Texans to give up on retaining their franchise wideout long term despite the rift between the two parties.
According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans don’t plan to move Johnson for several reasons, maintaining the belief inside of Houston that the franchise will refuse to trade Johnson even if he potentially wants out of his situation with the Texans currently:
The Andre Johnson controversy will be resolved one of two ways: He will report to the Texans under the terms of his contract, or he will sit out.
Johnson, one of the best receivers in NFL history, will not be traded for several reasons. The Texans want him to finish his career in Houston. They know they are a better team with him. And they don’t want to set a precedent for similar situations that might develop in the future.
As the Texans get closer to reporting July 25, it is obvious that they are not going to guarantee any part of Johnson’s contract, which calls for base salaries of $10 million (2014), $10.5 million (2015) and $11 million (2016).
Each year, Johnson gets a $1 million workout bonus if he participates in the offseason program, which he refused to do this year.
Johnson’s salary-cap figure this year is $15.6 million because the $1 million workout bonus must be carried on top of the $14.6 million that includes base salary and prorated signing bonus. In 2015, Johnson’s cap figure is $16.1 million.
There is speculation the Texans might cut Johnson after next season. Why would they? Johnson, who turns 33 Friday, is the greatest player in team history.
With bleak options at quarterback and trying to remain competitive after a disaster of a 2013 season, the Texans have good reason to try to hold onto Johnson’s services. If push comes to shove there is a potential the Texans are forced into a trade, but for now there is little chance Houston explores trading options as they are on board for doing whatever it takes to get Johnson to remain a Texan.