Andre Johnson wants out of Houston, skipping workouts and even the mandatory minicamp. There are several teams who are interested in the stellar yet aging receiver, but I think the Cleveland Browns should push the hardest to get him signed. And here’s why:
4) 6’ 3”, 230 lbs. Really, those numbers alone should be enough for the Browns to woo Johnson to the best of their ability. Look at the top few receivers they currently have (not counting Josh Gordon, who is surely gone for the year). Andrew Hawkins is 5’ 7”, 180 lbs, and that’s when he’s soaking wet. Nate Burleson is 6’ 0”, 198 lbs. Miles Austin is close to Johnson’s size, being only an inch shorter and 15 lbs lighter but he’s not half the player Johnson is. Signing Johnson would definitely beef up what is currently an undersized Cleveland receiving corps.
3) Cleveland has salary cap space. Almost nobody has more money right now than the Cleveland Browns. They have an estimated $28.4 million in free salary cap space, which is second only to the Jacksonville Jaguars (owning a $31.8 million cap space). The means that should it come to a bidding war, Cleveland would very likely win. Currently, Johnson’s contract with Houston has a very generous $10 million coming his way this year, followed by $10.5 million and $11 million in 2015 and 2016. The Browns would probably have to match or exceed those numbers…but given their cap space (and need for a receiver), they could absolutely make it happen.
2) His last name is Johnson. Everyone knows that the name Johnson is the greatest surname on planet earth. Having a Johnson on the Cleveland Browns might just be enough to propel them to the playoffs.
1) Stats don’t lie. There’s a lot of sentiment going around that Johnson is old and washed up. Some say that he’s passed his prime, and is not the receiver he once was. My response is simple: take a look at the stats, and realize that even if he were past his prime, he’d still better than most other receiving options. Also, that he’s not passed his prime – look at the numbers:
His career stats: 927 receptions for 12,661 yards (a 13.7 yds/catch average), and 61 touchdowns. If you average that over his 11 seasons, that’s 84 catches for 1,151 yards and 5.5 touchdowns. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t take that in a heartbeat. With regards to his “slowing down”, it appears to not even be true. His 2013 campaign (with completely horrible quarterback play the entire season) was better than his average in production – he caught 109 balls for 1,407 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Don’t tell me he’s old. Don’t tell me that the Browns can’t afford him. Definitely don’t try to tell me that we don’t need him. Bring Andre Johnson to Cleveland!