Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson has wanted to get out of Houston for some time. He’s pulling out all the stops. The latest? He will skip mandatory minicamp from Tuesday through Thursday, his adviser and uncle Andre Melton said to the Houston Chronicle Monday.
The Texans are bound to Johnson. They can’t trade him. His contract is too burdensome. And if they release him, it will cost the team around $12 million in dead money. They would be much better served to let him sit on the roster and hope that he comes back to the team. If he doesn’t, at least he is not playing somewhere else. Johnson’s lack of attendance won’t force the Texans hand. And he will be fined each day that he misses.
Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle sums up Johnson’s contract:
“Johnson, 32, is the Texans’ highest-paid player this season. He’s set to make a base salary of $10 million, with $15.6 million counting against the team’s salary cap. The highly respected receiver, who’ll turn 33 on July 11, is under contract through 2016, potentially earning a combined $31.5 million in base salary the next three seasons.”
Imagine Andre Johnson’s contract in terms of a mountain. It can’t be moved; it can’t broken apart. It’s stuck in place until natural forces bring it down. And thus Johnson’s missing mini camp is a moot point. His frustration with the quarterback position is certainly valid, as he would be catching passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick. And the man who has kept the Texans franchise on his back most seasons is probably wondering where his career went. But unfortunately the two parties are stuck in a negotiation grid lock.