NFL.com’s Ian Rappoport said this morning that Andre Johnson is on the trade block, with four teams already interested. Considering Johnson’s cap hits for the next three years are a monstrous $15.6 million,$16.1 million, and $14.7 million dollars, respectively, it really only makes sense for some playoff caliber teams with extra cap space to make a run at the future Hall of Fame receiver. But who could those four teams be? I have a few ideas on the identity of Johnson’s potential suitors.
Ryan Tannehill gets a lot less credit than he deserves for his performance in 2013. While he did not play quite at a Pro Bowl level, Tannehill flashed some of his salivating potential on the very few snaps in which his offensive line did not immediately collapse. 2014 is a new year, however, and Tannehill finally has a competent left tackle to work with in Branden Albert. Mike Wallace is a nice deep threat, Brian Hartline is a nifty possession receiver, and Charles Clay is an emerging receiving tight end. Miami still lacks a true number one receiver. Johnson, a former Hurricane, can return home to Florida and give new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor a supremely deadly complement of weapons for his young signal caller. Oh, and did I mention that the Dolphins have $15 million in cap space? If Johnson were to be traded at all, this move probably makes the most sense.
Perhaps Johnny Football and Andre Johnson will be on the same team after all? Kyle Shanahan has intimate familiarity with Johnson’s greatness as his former offensive coordinator in Houston. Considering the Browns have virtually nothing left at wide receiver after Josh Gordon’s recent escapades, Johnson is sorely needed. I could get behind an offense that features Andre Johnson, Jordan Cameron, Ben Tate, Andrew Hawkins, and Joe Thomas. A defense with the likes of Joe Haden, Phil Taylor, and Karlos Dansby is certainly appealing as well. Bringing in Johnson could turn the Browns from a middling team to a wildcard contender overnight. $24 million in cap space does not hurt either. The worst case scenario here, of course, is Texans fans enduring Johnson having a monster game against Houston later this season when the two teams meet.
I like what new Jets GM John Idzik has done in his short time in New York. He has not overspent his considerable cap space on flashy free agents, and the free agents he has signed have all been to reasonable deals. That shrewd cap work has left Idzik with $22 million dollars and an opportunity to bag a game-changing player in Andre Johnson. Eric Decker is a solid number two receiver, but he will never be a true "stud" number one. Johnson can easily fill that role while Decker and underrated slot man Jeremy Kerley hold down the fort at the other top two receiver positions. Should Gang Green pull the trigger on bringing in Johnson, they just might have a shot at taking the Patriots down a peg in 2014.
Why? Why not? The Eagles are in prime position to establish a stranglehold on the NFC East with a cheap franchise quarterback on a rookie deal, a superstar rushing tandem, and a potentially upgraded pass rush with first round pick Marcus Smith. Throw in $19 million dollars in cap space and possibly the biggest steal of the draft in Jordan Matthews, and you have yourselves a contender that can get even better. Between Andre Johnson, Jeremy Maclin, Jordan Matthews, LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, and Zach Ertz, NFC defenses would have absolutely no idea what to do with themselves. As long as Foles continues to play like he did last year, this Eagles offense could be historic with the addition of Johnson. As much as it would hurt to watch Andre leave, it would still be fun as hell to watch the Eagles hang 30 up every Sunday without breaking a sweat.