The NFL and Texans’ fans can sleep a little better now that Andre Johnson has participated in the first day of the Houston Texan’s training camp. Although fans (often annoying) begged the Pro Bowler to consider staying in Houston under every picture on his IG account, Johnson formally requested to be traded weeks earlier- a feat I did not expect him to conquer due to his meek persona. It is reported that Johnson was assured the direction of the team. However, with assurance or not, a man that has dedicated his career to a team that couldn’t put together a winning leadership should be afforded the right to leave after a harrowing season. While fans adore the NFL, we must remember it is a business. Johnson’s loyalty should never be questioned because in PRO SPORTS there is no such thing. Had Johnson had a detestable season a few times, he would have been traded regardless of his want to stay with the organization. Fans would have been upset, but the organization would have assured us that it was for the good of the team. [Think about all trades and releases initiated by teams]. It would be labeled as a business decision- a polarizing statement that many players do not have the honor of using.
Johnson lost his $1,000,000 roster bonus (reported by the USA Today) for taking the off season to plan his future. Because he is a Franchise Player/ veteran, OTA’s aren’t mandatory. It is an off-season opportunity for newly acquired players to become familiar with the team’s structure and playing style. Of course veterans show up to help get the team’s new additions acclimated, but it isn’t obligatory as many outlets report. However, training camp doesn’t offer the same option. An absence during training camp can carry a lofty fine , at minimal, of $30,000 per occurrence ( I’d personally show up for Johnson if he would have decided not to attend. That $1,000,000 waver personally crushed my soul). Although “some comfort” has been reported to have been given to Johnson, a championship ring is a far better mechanism of comfort than any words or contract incentives that can be offered.
This is only day one. As a Texan Fan, I reserve my heart’s fragility until game 16 and whether or not we clinch berth this season or even make it to the playoffs. For the sake of the team morale, Bill O’Brien and Romeo Crennel will have to show up and show out this season. I will say Johnson’s “stay” is bitter sweet. Team Eighty fans want the best for Johnson as a person and player. If leaving was on Johnson’s heart, it should have been granted. However with Johnson as weapon and veteran WR, I am thrilled with his continuation with the team. Johnson, Posey and Hopkins … Talk about depth in the receiver position.