Andre Johnson apparently is serious about his holdout.
Per Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle, Johnson will be skipping the Texans' mandatory minicamp for three days this week.
Johnson now will be eligible to be fined for $70,000 in fines if he misses all three days, as expected. He already has missed all of the team's voluntary minicamp dates up until now.
Although Johnson hasn't exactly pinpointed his reason for staying away, he has hinted that he's frustrated with losing and fears that the team will be mired in a rebuilding situation under new head coach Bill O'Brien. Melton, who also is Johnson's uncle, told the Chonicle that Johnson has no choice but to stick with his plan to stay away from the team for now.
“Right now, that’s all that he can do,” Melton said. “We’ve done what we can do, so we’re just sitting there waiting.”
But waiting for what? It's possible the Texans could trade Johnson to a contender, but his contract could make that a bit difficult. Right now, Johnson has a base salary of $10 million for the 2014 season, with a salary-cap figure of $15.6 million. He has a total of $31.5 million in base salaries over the next three seasons combined on his current deal.
Even though Johnson is set to turn 33 in less than a month, he doesn't appear to be slowing down. Despite the struggled of former starter Matt Schaub and a midseason quarterback change to Case Keenum, Johnson put up strong numbers — 109 catches, 1,407 yards, five touchdowns — during the Texans’ stunning 2-14 season. Johnson had 1,598 receiving yards in 2012, too.
But the Texans' quarterback situation remains muddled with Ryan Fitzpatrick likely battling with Keenum and fifth-round pick Tom Savage for starting duties. T.J. Yates, who won the first franchise playoff game as a replacement for Schaub in 2011, also is on the roster.
Could a team such as the New England Patriots swoop in and offer sanctuary for Johnson? It's possible; the two teams also discussed a trade around draft time involving Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett, according to various reports. But Johnson's high salary and the Texans' lack of interest — to this point — to dangle Johnson in a trade make it likely there won't be much movement anytime soon.
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