The drama that is the Andre Johnson 2014 preseason continues. While I don’t think any fan begrudges his disappointment at the 2013 implosion nor his dismay at the thought of another “new coach and rebuild” season for the team, it’s time to lay out the cards here. The team needs Johnson’s leadership and skill on the field. The city loves him and his teammates have nothing but respect for all he brings to the table. However with the large contract, highest paid player at that, on the team means neither side can let this mess continue. If Johnson sits out the 2014 season the Texans eat a 12 million dollar cap hit. If he’s traded the Texans still get hammered on cap space.
Financially, it’s an ugly hot mess for all parties involved. There is also the matter of another million causing a dispute. That would be the million Johnson has lost sitting out OTA’s. He wants it back, and is willing to work for it, but the Texans have basically said “you knew what you were doing, and you chose poorly”. Both sides are standing firm, both sides are losing.
Where does that put the team? Coach Bill O’Brien is stressing “Always put team first” and this drama isn’t helping matters. With a new offense, one of the more important aspects is timing and trust between QB and receiver. The fact Johnson’s sitting out puts the offense behind the eight ball. While Hopkins is a rising talent, he’s not Andre Johnson. No offense. That also means as long as Johnson rides the couch and not out on the field Hopkins has to work double hard learning what do in the number one slot and as the number two. With the more complex offense, this means he’s going to have to grow up fast.
Finally, how should the fans react? We believe Andre deserves a shot at a ring, and we really want that ring to have a bull on it. Johnson’s sitting out, and now a fight over unearned money comes into play the fans are likely to sour on the whole deal. Get something done, and quit being stubborn fools. That applies to both sides. Andre Johnson and the Texans to finish this mess. Either Andre shows up in camp, or the Texans should send Johnson somewhere he can be happy and let’s move on. Football we often here, is a business. Fans might not understand all the horse trading and monetary intricacies of an NFL Contract, they just want to see points on the board and wins as the teams tries to move on. They also are emotional about players as individuals while being passionate about their team.
Wouldn’t be odd if the last casualty of the Kubiak implosion is the Texans losing Johnson? A sad end to a great players time in Houston.
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