Texans all-world receiver Andre Johnson has made it quite clear that he wants out of Houston this season. The rumbings started before voluntary minicamp, and Johnson proceeded to skip mandatory work. He has verbally expressed frustration with the direction of the team, which is understandable. In one season the Texans went from best regular season record in the league to first pick in the draft.
Then came the draft, and the team essentially did nothing to address the quarterback position. Projected starter Ryan Fitzpatrick is a career journeyman who is best served as a backup, and fourth round pick Tom Savage is nowhere near ready to start. Johnson is 33 years old and realistically only has a couple of years left (if that) before he starts to decline, so one can’t blame him for wanting to spend that time competing for a ring.
As recently as July 1st it was widely believed that Johnson would be back with the Texans, but yesterday he reportedly told the team that he wants out and is willing to restructure his contract to facilitate a trade. Four teams are reportedly interested in trading for Johnson, which isn’t a surprise. Any team can benefit from his talents, especially those in win-now mode.
But is Johnson a realistic target for the Ravens? We would say no, for a number of reasons. First, he is owed $33.5 million over the next three years. The Ravens simply don’t have the cap space, nor do they typically spend that kind of money on an aging player. It would be an uncharacteristic move for Ozzie Newsome.
Secondly, the Ravens have pretty good depth at the position as it stands. They are trying to resign Torrey Smith, their current number one receiver, and recently dished out millions to Steve Smith and Jacoby Jones. Giving T. Smith, who is 25 and still an ascending player, a big contract makes a whole lot more sense. Not to mention Ozzie covets the draft picks needed to facilitate a trade.
So we’ll say there is less than a 1% chance the Ravens trade for Andre Johnson. The more likely scenario they need to worry about is a team like the Patriots making a move for him. The Pats (and Broncos) have shown they are not afraid to make big moves while they try to win another title before their aging, future HOF quarterbacks are finished.
Where do you think Andre Johnson will play in 2014?