The Houston Texans lost some of their biggest players this past week. Wide receiver Andre Johnson is reportedly on his way out. The Texans were going to need him to take a pay cut in order to keep him around, because frankly, for his numbers, he wasn’t worth the money.
Johnson has had an incredible career in Houston. He’s had seven seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving, and almost got to that point again last year. He also averaged over 13 yards per catch eight times in his twelve seasons with the Texans.
"Johnson told the Houston Chronicle on Monday that coach Bill O’Brien sat him down last week to say that he shouldn’t expect to catch more than about 40 passes in 2015."
This could have been strategic, to get Johnson to want to leave, therefore giving the Texans more cap room. I think there’s no way O’Brien really thought that Johnson would’ve been okay with this move. As Johnson put it, he would have been a, “miserable” football player.
This whole Johnson situation really feels like some sort of bad breakup. They had a great ride together, but things ended pretty badly, so it seems. Johnson will obviously find work elsewhere in the NFL, but it will be strange to see him suit up in anything but a Texans uniform next year.
In addition to losing Johnson, the Texans are also parting ways with center Chris Myers. Myers played seven years with the team. According to ESPN, the Texans will save $6 million in cap space, a huge plus for the Texans. His departure wasn’t nearly as bad as Johnson’s was.
Myers said that he was very fond of his time in Houston. As the Houston Chronicle reports, Myers was extremely fond of the community and the fans, as well.
"“I also want to express my appreciation to the best fans around. It was important for my wife and I to be in a city where we could do a lot of things in the community, and the fans treated us so well. I have so much gratitude for my time here.”"
As the offseason goes on, there will only be more change to the roster. New players will come in, and some previous Texans may leave. Throughout this process the team must find their new identity.
It’s something that happens every year, but after losing both Johnson who spent 12 years with the team, and Myers who spent seven years with the team (and never missed a single game), it seems kind of different. It really feels like the Texans lost a chunk of their identity. Gaining that back can be important, and it will all come with due time.
While this can be dismal for Texans fans, it’s also promising, and exciting. It gives them an opportunity to rebuild, and bring some new faces in. It has the opportunity to be exciting.
The draft is coming up, and of course they can pick up some new players there. With the departure of Johnson, it’s clear they might be looking for a wide receiver. They could also look for a running back, or maybe even some support in the defense.
Devante Parker from Louisville, and Devin Smith from Ohio State University are two wide receivers I think the Texans should look to to fill the Johnson void.
As WalterFootball notes, Smith was explosive, averaging 27 yards per possession last year.
The Texans could also look towards free agency to fill these new voids, as the market for players is growing every day. Brian Hartline, Hakeem Nicks and Lance Moore are all available to just name a few of the many options.
My point is, that the Texans are clearly in a stage where they need to find their new identity, and maybe even a new face of the franchise. This isn’t something Texans fans need to be upset about, because it’s the beginning of a new chapter and era.