Updates from Friday, July 11
The NFL Around the League Twitter feed has the latest on Andre Johnson:
From @RapSheet on Total Access: Patriots, Browns and "wild card" Raiders make sense as potential Andre Johnson landing spots.— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) July 11, 2014
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports the Texans have no plans to deal the talented wide receiver:
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.
Updates from Thursday, July 10
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com provides an update on Johnson's dispute with the Texans:
On Andre Johnson: Source tells me he would restructure his contract to help a potential new team get under the salary cap. Not a pay cut tho— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 11, 2014
Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle has more details on the compensation Johnson is seeking:
Andre Johnson's ongoing dispute with #Texans is about much, much more than a $1 million workout bonus. Window dressing.— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) July 10, 2014
Andre Johnson wants compensation for everything he's "given" rebuilding Texans. That was the story months ago. Little has changed since then— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) July 10, 2014
Before OTAs and minicamp, star wide receiver Andre Johnson told the Houston Texans he had heard enough from the new staff and coach Bill O'Brien to make him want to show up and join the team. He told them of his plans to be there for offseason workouts, despite missing the early portion of it. The question revolved around his $1 million bonus for attending workouts. ...
... Meanwhile, one veteran Texans player said while the team wants Johnson to play with them in 2014, they've also told him from a business sense, "Stick to your guns."
Rapoport added more insight into Johnson's thought process:
#Texans Andre Johnson’s absence involves standoff over $1M bonus per source. Johnson wanted to earn it back after missing time. Team said no— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 10, 2014
And noted there has been interest in the wideout from other teams:
Four teams have expressed interest in trading for #Texans WR Andre Johnson, who is working out now “not thinking of the Texans,” source said— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 10, 2014
He also offered up a potential solution:
Possible solution for #Texans, considering Andre Johnson wanted to show up at 1 time: Guarantee he’s on roster for ’15. Can retire a Texan— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 10, 2014
Andre Johnson restructured his contract 3 times at the team’s behest. Wants same goodwill from #Texans for $1M bonus. Thinks he’s earned it— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 10, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, July 9
Andre Johnson commented on the prospects of going to Texans training camp, per Rapoport:
NFL.com's Marc Sessler added more from Johnson:
Asked if he'd be on the field when Houston hosts theWashington Redskins in Week 1, Johnson remained vague, saying, "I don't know. I can't answer that question."
The 32-year-old pass-catcher confirmed what NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported months ago, acknowledging that he's "had conversations with the organization" about his future.
"I haven't been public about anything," Johnson said. "I just choose not to talk publicly about it. It's in-house and that's the way I choose to keep it. I'm not a big media guy, so I refuse to talk about it."
Updates from Tuesday, June 17
Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle provides an update from head coach Bill O'Brien, who spoke about Andre Johnson:
Coach Bill O'Brien has maintained regular contact with the veteran wide receiver, despite Johnson missing all of OTAs and the first day of a mandatory minicamp Tuesday at NRG Stadium.
As a whole, though, the Texans are carrying on without Johnson, who remains at odds with the organization and has no timetable for his return.
"It's all about the guys that are here," said O'Brien, who has spoken and exchanged text messages with Johnson during the receiver's holdout. "The guys that are here seem to be really focused."
Updates from Monday, June 16
Smith provides a statement from Andre Melton, Andre Johnson's adviser and uncle, discussing Johnson's status within the Texans' organization:
Veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson won't attend the Texans' mandatory minicamp Tuesday through Thursday, his adviser and uncle Andre Melton said Monday.
While Johnson's absence was expected, Melton's comments confirmed the seven-time Pro Bowler remains at odds with the Texans and there's no immediate end in sight to the stalemate.
"Right now, that's all that he can do," Melton said. "We've done what we can do, so we're just sitting there waiting." ...
... Johnson will be fined during each day of his absence.
"Andre and Bill [O'Brien] have a great relationship. That's just what it is," Melton said. "After that, it's just a wait-and-see deal."
Melton also spoke on a potential Johnson holdout, courtesy of Smith:
With training camp starting at the end of July, Melton said Johnson is holding off making a decision about his attendance and has yet to determine whether he'll officially hold out.
"We'll evaluate it in a month or so and see what's going on," Melton said.
There are also financial penalties for Johnson based on his absence from OTAs (via James Palmer of CSN Houston):
Updates from Friday, June 13
Dave Zangaro of CSNHouston.com has the latest on Johnson:
The Texans finished their final day of voluntary OTAs on Friday. And Andre Johnson missed all 10 practices.
Next week, the team has mandatory minicamp.
Does head coach Bill O'Brien expect Johnson to show?
"You know, again ... I don't know," O'Brien said on Friday afternoon. "I don't know."
Updates from Friday, June 6
Arian Foster posted this video on Instagram on Thursday night:
Updates from Wednesday, May 28
James Palmer of CSN Houston confirmed Andre Johnson's absence at Houston's OTAs:
Updates from Tuesday, May 27
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport provides an update on Andre Johnson as the Texans' OTAs begin:
#Texans WR Andre Johnson wasn’t present at OTAs today, as he indicated he wouldn’t be. Team had said talks were positive. Still, no show tho— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 27, 2014
ESPN's Tania Ganguli passes along comments from head coach Bill O'Brien:
"I have a ton of respect for him. We’d love to have him here now. That’s up to him." O'Brien on Andre Johnson. #Texans— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) May 27, 2014
Updates from Thursday, May 22
Dan Hanzus of NFL.com has the latest on Johnson:
The Pro Bowl wide receiver is on record saying that he doesn't plan to take part in voluntary OTAs when they begin next week. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday's edition of "NFL Total Access" that Johnson is also unlikely to attend the mandatory minicamp.
Rapoport adds more:
Mentioned Andre Johnson’s situation Wed. on TA. #Texans knew of his gripes before he went public. Doesn’t sound like it’s just QB-related— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 22, 2014
Updates from Thursday, May 15
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle dishes to Bleacher Report about the latest reports surrounding Andre Johnson and his future with the Houston Texans:
Houston Texans star receiver Andre Johnson has remained loyal to the franchise that selected him No. 3 overall in the 2003 NFL draft, but now the 32-year-old veteran is having thoughts of fleeing.
After skipping last week's voluntary workouts, Johnson sounded off about Houston's consistent losing during his 11-year career, per the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith:
Nobody’s been here as long as I have. You just kind of look at things; I’ve been thinking about things this offseason. And I just kind of wonder sometimes, "Is this still the place for me?" ...
... When you bring a new coach in, you go through a rebuilding process. Some people say it’s not. Some people say it’s a quick fix. Everybody has their own opinion. But I’ve been through the situation more than once. [...] I just look at my career...I’ve only been to the playoffs twice. I think we’ve only had three winning seasons. I don’t think any player wants to experience that. I think over time it can become very frustrating. And this offseason has been very frustrating for me; beginning of the offseason, I should say. That’s just kind of where I’m at right now.
Smith's report also notes that Johnson has no plans to attend a mandatory camp or organized team activities, and Smith added this on Twitter about Johnson's future:
NFL Network's Albert Breer brought up the contract situation that could prevent the Texans from trading Johnson, who is under contract through 2016:
Andre Johnson has three years and $34.5 million left on his contract. If dealt, Texans would have $11.96 million in dead money to swallow.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 13, 2014
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com weighed in on the potential trade value Johnson warrants:
Just discussed Andre Johnson's trade value with ATL crew. We think a 2nd-rounder is fair, but Texans won't be motivated enough to do it.— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) May 13, 2014
It's hard to blame Johnson for his frustration. After a 2-14 season, Houston did bolster its defense through the draft, yet it failed to address a glaring hole at the all-important quarterback position with any conviction. Signing journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and drafting raw Pittsburgh Panthers QB Tom Savage in the fourth round has to have Johnson concerned about the situation under center.
Johnson has been sensational throughout his playing days, but he's turning 33 in July and evidently feels a sense of urgency to get into Super Bowl contention soon. That doesn't seem to be the case with the Texans, who appear to be in the midst of rebuilding under head coach Bill O'Brien.
What should the Texans do with Andre Johnson?
Although the AFC South isn't that tough of a division, Johnson would welcome an opportunity to play for an elite team that has a realistic chance at hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
Any potential landing spot for Johnson is too early to speculate on, but it's hard to imagine he'll be around much longer if he doesn't attend mandatory team activities. Having someone who has been the face of the franchise lose hope after years of being so professional has to alarm general manager Rick Smith.
With such an awful quarterback depth chart, it was going to be hard for the Texans to compete in 2014 even with Johnson in the fold. The best the Texans can hope to do is persuade Johnson to stay, or to net as much compensation as possible for him if they decide to ship him elsewhere.