What to do about Andre.


Dec 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. The Texans defeated the Jaguars 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans longest tenured and perennial star wide receiver started the 2014 season unhappy. What his exact issues were was not made public, what we did know was that he saw the clock of his career winding down and wasn’t keen on another wasted season. He sat out the OTA’s and other preseason work but eventually joined the team and played football. However the Texans failed to make a playoff berth and the season, as good as it was is wasted.  For fans looking ahead to 2015, the question in the back of everyone’s mind is what to do about Andre.

With the quarterback situation murky, cap space issues and a bevvy of good players up for free agency the Texans and Andre Johnson need to have a sit down about how they move forward. Johnson wants an honest shot at a title, to hoist that Lombardi Trophy one time, to shine his ring and tell his grand kids about it. The Texans are not the best fit for that opportunity. In a league where the quarterback decides your teams future, the Texans have no one to call “the man.”

Team owner Robert McNair has made it quite clear he wants Johnson to retire a Texan. This is understandable, his teammates don’t want to see him go. Heck to be honest I don’t think he’s all that keen on rolling elsewhere. The frustration of a wasted year with dim hope ahead does not inspire. Sure the Texans pulled a 9-7 season out of a 2-14 disaster, but even if they made the playoffs what were their honest chances of meeting the Patriots in New England and winning? With Keenum having barely two weeks to gel with the offense, whom I really like by the way, against top flight teams in the heat of the play offs that’s a tough assignment.

Looking at his contract, even if the Texans let him go whose going to sign him for $10,000,000? That trade would leave the Texans hanging for 7.3 million in dead money. Johnson’s stats for 2014 were not all that impressive either. He was 29th in total receiving yards pulling in a mere 85 for 936 yards. That’s not the kind of numbers a team says “We’ll pay you.”

Now it could be that the new system in place, new faces under center played a part in this, but Johnson’s young protegee, second year receiver DeAndre Hopkins ranked 12th in the regular season with 76 catch for nearly 1,210 yards gained. Was Johnson less motivated? Has he lost a step?
We don’t really know his motivation but we also didn’t really see a lot of flash from Johnson this year.

Johnson, O’Brien and McNair need to sit down and have a little chat. Just the three of them about what to do. If Johnson really wants to try his luck elsewhere then he and the Texans need to find a way to make that happen that works for both sides. If he believes the Texans have a real shot at being competitive then they need to hammer out how all sides can contribute to that.

What we the fans, the team and I’ll bet Johnson doesn’t want is another preseason like 2014. Let’s avoid that please. It hurt as a fan to watch, it doesn’t help the team focus on the future. One game separated the Texans from the play offs. O’Brien has just got his system installed and the defense is rising. Do the right thing guys? For the fans.