New Jets running back Chris Johnson put on his general manager hat Tuesday night and lobbied the team to acquire Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson on Twitter.
The tweet sent Jets fans into fantasy football mode imagining the seven-time Pro Bowler in green and white. Johnson did not show up for the Texans’ first OTA on Tuesday and has expressed his unhappiness with the organization that has a new coach in Bill O’Brien and an uncertain quarterback situation.
Could it really happen? Let’s take a closer look at whether the Jets should make the splashy move.Three reasons it makes sense
1. They still need help: The Jets signed Eric Decker to a five-year, $36.25 million deal in March. They also added Jacoby Ford and drafted three wide receivers. Still, there is a big question mark about who will start opposite Decker. Johnson would answer that question. There is no debating his production. He had 109 catches for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns on a team that had three quarterbacks last season. He has caught more than 100 passes in five different seasons in his career. Johnson would be the team’s best receiver when he walked in the door.
Geno SmithPhoto: Charles Wenzelberg
2. A veteran presence: The Jets have gone through a major roster overhaul since John Idzik arrived in January 2013. That has made them a very young team, which is not necessarily a bad thing on the field but has left a bit of a leadership void in the locker room. Johnson is a 32-year-old veteran who could come in and help a young offense, including quarterback Geno Smith.
3. Money to spend: If the Texans decide to move Johnson, the biggest challenge will be finding teams with the salary cap space to take him and his $11 million salary cap number this year. The Jets are one team that could do it. That does not necessarily mean they should, but with $23.5 million left in cap space they could do it if they wanted to.Three reasons it doesn’t
1. Big bucks: The biggest reason a marriage between Johnson and the Jets won’t happen is the dollars he is owed – $33.5 million over the next three seasons. We have seen Idzik is not a big spender. Would he really commit that kind of money to a player who turns 33 in July? No way.
2. Not now: If the Jets were knocking on the door of the Super Bowl, a move like this might make sense even with the financial concerns. But the Jets are not in that stage of their rebuild yet. Right now, this team is trying to become a playoff team. Adding Johnson would not solve their problems in the secondary or make Geno Smith stop throwing interceptions.
3. Deal or no deal: Even with Johnson grumbling about things in Houston, it is hard to imagine the Texans actually trading him. The move would come with serious salary cap ramifications for Houston, and there is also no chance they will get equal value in a trade for Johnson. He has shown he still can produce, and O’Brien likely will convince him the team is not that far from turning it around and Johnson can be a huge part of that. If they decide to trade him, you have to think they would try to get him out of the AFC, eliminating the Jets as well.