In case you missed it, Johnson expressed his frustration with the Texans’ offseason and openly wondered if he was still a fit on the team. He didn’t specifically say that he’s going to request a trade out of Houston, but he was definitely concerned about their chances of completing for a championship.
This has led to some speculation that the Texans could look to trade Johnson at some point in the near future.
Back to Fitzgerald’s article.
According to Fitzgerald, if the Texans were to trade Johnson before June 1, they would take on a cap charge of $11,964,166, but in the end would see a cap savings of $3,680,417 given that his total cap figure is $15,644,583 for the 2014 season.
Should the Texans wait until after June 1 to move Johnson, they would reduce the cap charge of $11,964,166 to $4.644 million in 2014 and $7.319 million charge in 2015.
Either way, it would have a positive impact on the team’s salary cap.
Johnson, 32, still has three years remaining on his seven-year, $62.7 million contract and is owed $34.5 million during this time.
Fitzgerald mentions that Johnson would likely want an extension in the event that the Texans found a trade partner and were willing to complete the deal.
However, there are only 12 teams of now that could take on his $11 million salary and most of them aren’t playoff contenders. Fitzgerald lists the Bengals, Eagles, Packers , and Colts as the only teams who could currently take on his contract and possibly give him a chance to compete for a title.
The Colts signed Hakeem Nicks in free agency and have Reggie Wayne returning to go along with T.Y. Hilton and some other receiving options. Green Bay and Philadelphia just loaded up on receivers during the draft, so it’s doubtful they would be looking to add another high-priced receiver to their respective offenses.
The Bengals could have some interest, but are by no means desperate for a receiver at this point.
Fitzgerald also mentions that the Jets, Bills and Dolphins are “fringe playoff teams” that could make a deal work as well, but the Jets are probably the only team that would make sense.
It seems as though there is a better chance of him being released following the season and before his base salaries start to climb, than him getting traded in the next few months.
Johnson has been without a doubt one of the best receivers in the NFL for a long time and probably should have made a lot more money that what he was paid. Hopefully for him he gets a chance to compete for a championship before the end of his career.
In 2013, Johnson caught 109 passes for 1,407 yards receiving and five touchdowns.