Franchise icon Andre Johnson said some things today that cast doubt upon his future with the Houston Texans. Naturally, pundits furiously began examining possible trade destinations for the Texans' All-World wideout despite 'Dre specifically stating he hasn't requested a trade. As NFL.com's Chris Wesseling noted here, however, Andre Johnson's contract could serve to stop any trade before it starts. Wesseling writes:
A Johnson trade would leave $11.96 million in dead money against the Texans' 2014 cap, per NFL Media's Albert Breer. Perhaps just as prohibitive, a prospective suitor would need the space to absorb Johnson's monstrous contract.
It's going to be quite challenging to find a match that suits the Texans' need for fair compensation, Johnson's wishes and the third party's cap situation.
For those reasons, a trade seems unlikely. But what about the possibility of Andre Johnson simply deciding he doesn't want to play football anymore? What if he were to retire?
Brett pointed this thread on Texans Talk out to me after word about Andre's comments broke earlier this afternoon. Normally, I wouldn't put much credence in a message board rumor. But given the fact that this account was posted four days ago, before Andre Johnson went public with his concerns today, I figure it merits discussion. With the caveat that there's simply no way to know how reliable the story or poster is, a user named mussop posted:
Just got some disturbing news about A Johnson
A reliable friend just told me A Johnson is considering retiring. Says he just don't have it anymore. I hope this isn't true.
When called out for the absurdity of the statement, mussop responded:
wow thanks. Just sharing what I heard. No reason to lie. I've been here for years and guarantee you no one can find a single incident of me ever making something up. You can choose whether you want to believe it or not, doesn't mean **** to me.
And me sharing this has nothing to do with him missing camp. I would share the whole story about who he said this to and what he told that person he needed to do and become. Why waste my time, I have no credibility.
I hope this is all BS Johnson has been my favorite Texan for years. Look at my avatar. And yes it was a "reliable friend" who told me this. Not trying to act like I have some inside source. I'm going to pm a couple of people and tell them the entire story and that will be the last I ever bring it up. It's a no win for me. If it's true then my favorite player retires. If it isn't true I'm sure I'll get ridiculed for this for a long time. In hindsight I guess I was stupid for wanting to share what I thought was reliable information about the team and one of its all time best players with people that I have talked texans football with for years.
After 'Dre's comments went public this afternoon, mussop wrote:
Not trying to come off as an insider or anything like that but yes they have talked. Andre let all this be known at a team meeting BEFORE the draft. I feel comfiratble saying this outloud now. Just want it out there now before people start ripping him for waiting until the draft was over.
When we didn't draft a WR I figured it was bad info. Surprised it has taken this long to make it to the media.
And then, finally:
Might as well tell what I know now. I sent three people the short version. This is the whole version minus who told me this information. I would appreciate the people I told not make it public who told me this.
There was a team meeting a few days before the draft. I don't know if it was a mandatory meeting or who was all there, I just know that it was a team meeting. Before the meeting A Johnson pulled D Hopkins to the side and told him "it's time for you to step up and become the man now. I don't think have it anymore and I'm thinking about getting out". Then A Johnson entered the meeting and announced his feelings to his team mates and coaches.
I asked my friend what AJ meant by "don't have it anymore". He said the energy to go through another rebuild at this point in his career. At least that's how he took it. Said he didn't press too much for more information.
The guys I PMed can verify this minus the team meeting. I didn't mention the meeting part to them. Wanted to keep it short.
Could retirement be what Andre Johnson was referring to when he referenced "taking some time, thinking about things" earlier today? Would he really walk away from the kind of money owed to him under the terms of his contract purely because he's grown so frustrated with the direction of the only organization he's ever known that not playing at all is preferable to playing here? If so, what sort of indictment is that of the Texans?