Going into Week 3 of the 2013 NFL season, the Houston Texans had plenty of reasons to be hopeful. They were 2-0 after nailbiter wins over the Chargers and Titans and seemed to be on their way to their third consecutive AFC South title… and then the floor fell out from underneath them. Houston did not win again last year and now they must rebuild around a new quarterback and coaching staff.
Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson has been through rebuilding periods before and he’s had enough. After 11 years in the league Johnson wants a chance to compete for a Super bowl. He has neither the time or the inclination to wait while Houston picks up the pieces from last year’s implosion.
Yesterday Ian Rapoport reported that four teams are in talks with the Texans about trading for Johnson, who is due to be paid $10 million for the 2014 season. Marc Sessler on NFL.com followed up with an article that included several possible landing destinations for Johnson should Houston decide to deal him:
The New England Patriots:
“Cap space is limited, but New England makes plenty of sense. With Tom Brady in the final stages of his career, wrangling a true No. 1 pass-catcher would fill a genuine roster need and give Johnson a chance at the Super Bowl…”
The Cleveland Browns:
“With Josh Gordon set to walk into the abyss, how could the Browns not be interested? Cleveland has a ton of cap room and a coordinator in Kyle Shanahan who worked beautifully with the pass-catcher in years past…”
The Carolina Panthers:
“This scenario would furnish Johnson with a bona fide franchise passer in Cam Newton while instantly solving the team’s lack of proven playmakers at the position…”
His list also included the Jets, Ravens, Chiefs and Raiders. All this speculation got me thinking, why not the Eagles?
Philly has over $20 million in cap room remaining for 2014 and they have to find a way to replace the production that went out the door with DeSean Jackson. If Jordan Matthews develops as expected, and if Jeremy Maclin returns to form, and if Riley Cooper can repeat last year’s magic the Eagles might be fine at wide receiver, but with Andre Johnson in the fold they would be totally covered.
The Eagles have several players who are in the final year of their contracts who they can offer in exchange, including Brandon Graham, Bradley Fletcher, and Brad Smith. Expiring deals would give Houston more leverage to continue their rebuilding project. While it’s certainly not ideal the Texans are in a tight spot and might have to take what they can get with Johnson apparently determined to force his way out.
For his career Johnson has 12,661 receiving yards and 61 touchdowns. He has had seven 1,000+ receiving yard seasons to date. What do you think? Should the Eagles try to pull off a trade for Dre?