The Texans informed Johnson that his role was going to be decreasing next season, which led to him being granted permission to find a trade partner, or he’ll be released outright.
Johnson’s agent, Kennard McGuire, said during an interview with SportsRadio 610 that they never asked to the Texans for a trade.
“Andre did not, in the last couple of days, go in and ask for a trade,” McGuire said, via CBS Houston. “Certain things were expressed to [Andre] in which he didn’t agree with. And at that point in time permission was thusly granted to seek an opportunity elsewhere. That was not something that we asked for. That was something that was presented to us.
“The contractual matters never did come up. The only thing that was discussed was the role and that was in fact that there would be a reduced role.”
According to Johnson, Texans HC Bill O’Brien told him that they anticipated he would catch around 40 passes next season.
“I just laughed,” Johnson told the Houston Chronicle. “They gave me my role, and I just laughed at them.
“I was floored,” Johnson added. “I don’t feel like there is a guy on that team that can outplay me or outwork me. I mean, who am I going to play behind?
“So I was real honest with him: ‘If that’s your role for me, you’re going to be dealing with a miserable football player.’ ”
We’ve yet to hear any teams connected to Johnson, but his agent said that he expects there to be a market for Johnson in the coming days.
“[The Texans] just granted permission. We’re on the ground running now,” McGuire said. “I believe there will be a market for him.”
It would be surprising to see a team part with draft picks for a player who is likely to be released, especially when you consider Johnson’s age and salary for the upcoming season.
Johnson, 33, still has two years remaining on his seven-year, $62.7 million contract, which includes $48 million guaranteed. He’ll make base salaries of $10.5 million and $11 million over the final two years of the agreement.
Johnson’s remaining cap figures are $16,144,583 and $14.675 million, but the Texans would free up $8.825 million next year and another $12 million in 2016 if they were to release him, according to OverTheCap.com’s calculator.
In 2014, Johnson has caught 85 passes for 936 yards receiving and three touchdowns over the course of 15 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 40 receiver out of 110 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Johnson as the news is available.