As the Cleveland sports world awaits word on LeBron James the Cleveland Browns await word on Josh Gordon. Hope sprung a bit that he would be suspended for less then a year but that hope has deflated in the wake of his recent arrest. Another big wide receiver is having troubles of his own. Andre Johnson, who has spent his entire career with the Houston Texans, has requested a trade according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:
That furthered the divide between Johnson and the Texans, driving a wedge between the parties. That caused Johnson to tell them he wanted to play for another team. He is now working out, “not thinking about the Texans,” a source said.
From this report it looks like the standoff is due to a $1 million dollar workout bonus that Johnson wants the Texans to pay and they are reportedly not going to. Johnson missed some earlier off-season workouts but wanted to workout extra to make up for them and get his bonus. The Texans have reportedly said no.
This is an interesting stand for the team to take but new head coach Bill O’Brien could be trying to set the tone for his team. Yet losing your best receiver is never a good idea, right Browns fans? Johnson already had made his desire to possibly move on from the Texans rebuild known. To push him over the edge, after he seemed to be coming around, doesn’t create a sense that the team wants him back.
The Texans reportedly have said they won’t trade him but could that be a negotiating ploy? The report states that 4 teams have expressed interest in Johnson but no team is named. The Browns could be on the look out for a receiver given the Gordon situation but the fit with Johnson seems odd. He is a veteran wide receiver that wants to go to a team that is competitive right now. While the Browns have made significant strides the odds of them going deep into the playoffs this year seem low.
The Browns also have shown no interest in putting a great deal of resources into the receiver position. They did not spend big money in free agency and did not draft a single receiver this year. Trading a pick and take cap space for a receiver doesn’t fit what they have done so far. While the Browns have cap space this year it is important to remember that they have a few starters who will be looking for new contracts soon and cap space rolls over from year to year. Because of that, any space used this year won’t be available next year.
What do you think of the Browns pursuing Johnson?