The Houston Texans and Andre Johnson are likely heading for a split, as the team may trade or release the wide receiver into 2015 and if that happens, teams like the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots could be potential landing spots for him.
Johnson came up in trade rumors last year after holding out in training camp and now the Houston Chronicle's John McClain reports that the wide receiver could be on his way out of town. McClain reports that Johnson was told by head coach Bill O'Brien that he would have a reduced role this season and the team has given the receiver permission to seek a trade. Johnson is making over $10 million this season and that is likely the nexus of all this, as the team reportedly wanted Johnson to take a pay cut.
Johnson is one of the most productive receivers in NFL history, but he is 34 years old and counts for over $8 million on the cap. The Texans are paying Johnson $10.5 million this season and $11 million in the last two years of his deal and that could make him tough to trade. Johnson could be released if the two sides can't work out a deal or a trade and if that happens, expect a number of teams to line up for his services.
The Patriots may look at adding a veteran receiver if they get rid of Danny Amendola, while the Browns and Raiders have the cap space to make a trade with the Texans. The Seahawks have a void with the trade of Percy Harvin and while Johnson is a completely different player, he has expressed a desire to compete for a Super Bowl. The Raiders need playmakers on offense, while the Colts have a solid amount of cap space for a team that went to the AFC championship and could be active this offseason.
Johnson is coming off a solid season that saw him make 85 catches for 936 yards and three touchdowns while playing in 15 games. Johnson has put up fantastic numbers in his career and in the previous two seasons he put up back to back years with at least 109 catches and 1400 yards. The Chronicle reports that Johnson said he "laughed" when O'Brien said his role would be cut and that he would only catch "around 40 balls" next season.
Johnson was unhappy last year coming into the season and now that is playing out again and he could look to find a trade to a new situation. Johnson is one of the all-time leaders in yards and has one of the best receptions per game average in recent history, per ESPN Stats and Info. If Johnson is moved, DeAndre Hopkins would be the clear number one receiver for O'Brien on offense. Hopkins comes in after putting up 76 receptions for 1210 yards in his second season and he has the potential to put up even better numbers if Johnson is moved.