The Houston Texans haven't kicked off OTAs yet, but when they do next week, it will be without one of the team's offensive stars.
In fact, the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday (via colleague Dan Hanzus) that not only will wide receiver Andre Johnson skip OTAs next week, but the 32-year-old plans to sit out the mandatory minicamp that follows.
This news comes on the heels of Johnson's comments last week to reporters, such as Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, when Johnson publicly questioned his future with the team:
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.
However, a trade remains unlikely. A trade involving Johnson would saddle the Texans with over $11 million in dead money on the cap, and one of the few teams capable of pulling off such a deal with Houston isn't interested.
At least, that's what Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com:
He's my age. He's 33 [at the start of next season]. The question is, when do you hit the wall? You never know where the wall is until you hit it. Do you ride them all the way to the wall? Or do you give them up a year in front of the wall?
Johnson can grouse all he wants, but odds are he is starting for the Texans come Week 1.