Seahawks News: Could NFL's Deepest Roster Afford Andre Johnson?

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Nov 24, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) makes a reception during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium. The Jaguars defeated the Texans 13-6. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

“Andre Johnson to the Seattle Seahawks” is a phrase I have to imagine the 12′s would embrace big-time if it happened, but when taking an initial look at what would amount to a Madden Football-type move to acquire him, the reactions are that chances are slim to none.

Still, Johnson was linked to the Seahawks in an earlier article from late Wednesday night/Thursday morning so let’s talk surprise contender in “The Natural’s” sweepstakes; Seattle Seahawks.

Let’s face it, if money weren’t an issue, the NFL’s deepest roster easily has the pieces to pull off the mammoth trade and the Texans certainly would at least have to listen to what’s on the table. Sure, Houston could stick to their guns and make Johnson play or sit out the season, guaranteeing they keep $10 million of his salary and not have to pay close to $12 million in dead cap (guaranteed) space, but why pass on the opportunity to potentially drastically upgrade multiple spots on the roster and add a possible high future draft pick as well?

But money is indeed an issue and the biggest initial question for Seattle would obviously center around Johnson’s killer cap-hit, which may require throwing together some sort of ultra-mongo-huge package in order to acquire his services. A Marshawn Lynch/Brandon Mebane package along with a 2nd or 3rd round pick might be worth considering, for example. A Mebane/Bruce Irvin package sounds pretty intriguing defensively for a team that needs some more talent around J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Brian Cushing. Sidney Rice might then be in-play as well.

Why those players for SEA? Each (outside of Rice since he re-signed at a bargain-basement price) is someone who’s current contract could really help Seattle soften the blow and endure the brunt of the cap-hit, along with being salaries the Seahawks might be looking to dump next season anyway. Package them together and the Hawks cover the spread of the Johnson contract for two seasons.

Lynch and Mebane are older players (for the average lifespan of their position group) that wouldn’t mortgage the future of the franchise but would be sweet additions to the Texans current roster. Can you imagine Arian and Marshawn going to work all game for you? How about adding Mebane to the middle and/or Bruce Irvin’s speed and raw athleticism on the outside?

Add one or two high-round youngster in the upcoming draft(s), and/or a budding receiver like Ricardo Lockette, Jermaine Kearse or rookie Kevin Norwood to the pot and there are several scenarios that would force the Texans to consider taking on the $12 million in dead-cap space to make a deal.

Back to the positive’s on Seattle’s side, yes Andre Johnson is 33, four years older than Mebane and five years older than Beast Mode, but receivers’ shelf-lives are much, much longer. The move would also mean that Russell Wilson would have a third (proven) top-flight receiver to throw to and the trio would be together for at least the next couple years.

When considering what Wilson did with what he had in 2013, his overall free-agent contract value would skyrocket after throwing to Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Paul Richardson and Andre Johnson all season. However Wilson might be willing to forgo the full amount of the contract to have a guy like Johnson in the fold because of what it would mean for him on the field. “SkittleSquad” (or the “Legion of Zoom” if you prefer) would be unstoppable, presumably even without Lynch if he had to be dealt in the trade.

On Johnson’s side, he’s coming off of 112 and 109 catch seasons for totals of 1,598 yards and 1,407 yards respectively, including nine touchdowns. Clearly, he still has two or three All-pro caliber seasons left in the tank and it’s pretty clear that the Texans aren’t quite in the “Super Bowl contenders” club just yet. Thus, he wants out and he wants out now. With this in mind, I have to believe there’s a high probability of him taking on this next option for a team like Seattle.

Here’s where we come to the possibility of a restructured contract:

Yeah, yeah, he says “won’t take a pay cut” now, but if it were the Champs that came knocking and provided his ticket out of perpetual underachieving Houston, he just might pull a Lebron for a run at a career-defining Dynasty in the Northwest. Let’s look at this a little further with more of the issues surrounding the whole idea…

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  • aicdragon29 .

    Mmmmm… dont much care for the prospect. Would improve the ralent in the receiving corps? Sure. But I think our corps is deeper than its been in years plus with Rice and Harvin hopefully staying healthy for a full season(something I dont think you factor in as a what if they dont sitch), I think the corps is just fine. In comparison, I just dont see a big enough upside to the trade off downside to the situation. Too many casualties(players and picks) that it would mess with the depth and very likely the chemistry on the team. Furthermore, Schneider made his name as a GM that builds through youth and/or the draft. This does not fit that MO. Granted the Harvin trade doesnt either. But we didnt trade away a couple of veteran mainstays on top of a couple pieces to the future away. A second and/or third round draft pick to the Hawks has recently been a first rounder type player to most others… hell, that doesnt even include the already arduous task of getting Wilson resignee. The cap space etc. No… with all due respect to Andre Johnson. No. In a perfrct world where theres no cap and no worries… sure. Bring him on. But this isnt that scenario. So… Nope.

    • JohnPaul Sein

      Couldn’t agree more! Our corps is just fine as it is… sides we haven’t even seen richardson and Norwood in action

      • disqus_GQB6dqiihC

        We haven’t really seen Harvin either!

    • AllCoug’dUp (Joshua Davis)

      Very intelligent post here dragon! I very much like your argument

    • Paddy

      I agree. I don’t even want to think about how the run D will perform if they go into the season without Mebane and Bryant. Those guys were a huge reason why the Seahawks were top 10 against the run and shut certain teams down as opposed to being well below average against the run. I just don’t know if the Seahawks want to go all in with an old K. Williams, chronically injured past in J. Williams, and another couple injury guys Hill, Scruggs from last year. Sounds very risky when Wilson already completed 63% of his passes last year without Harvin.

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  • Trakar

    Hate it. Certainly not worth any of the trades you suggested, especially for an older receiver when we are loaded at the position and a Run first team by design and plan. Are you a closet Niner fan? suggesting that we shoot ourselves in the leg and then take the bus to the ER?

    • wheelz808

      Yes… we are now dumber from reading this article. Houston might drool over getting our players, but we’re much better off with what we have.

    • Paddy

      Definitely. This article would love for the Seahawks to lose Mebane along with Bryant this year. That would potentially be a SB killing move because I’m betting the Seahawks run D would go way down without Mebane. I just don’t have full confidence in K. and J. Williams, or Staten. They need to prove themselves and stay healthy for a season before I’ll be jumping on their bandwagon.

      • aicdragon29 .

        I agree losing Bryant definately hurts the run D… I dont think anyone could affectively argue against that. And I firmly believe Mebane is one of the unsung heroes on the Hawks. Hawks fans give him his due, but with Thomas, Sherman, and Chancellor being all pro type players(one could even argue imo with Thomas at free safety, some undervalue Chancellor) and overall depth to the defense as a whole I think Mebane isnt acknowledged enough by the press. That being said, I think te Williams’ will do great since the D utilizes a rotation and depth at all positions keeping guys fresh. Yea K Will is on the downside of his career, but much like the prospect of J Allen coming here, the ability to keep guys fresh it huge. Hell, some that dont understand that concept scrutinized the front office for giving Bennet the large payday citing how he “only” got 8 sacks… but playing only about 65% of the snaps AND getting 8 sacks is huge… on top of being the physical presence he has been as well.

        But I digress, the run D really only gave up 4 big running games last season. One imo was that they slept on Tampa initially… another was to Minnesota(should we be surprised they had 135 yds? Maybe… with AP it could have easily been much more) then Houston(but the compensation was allowing only 175 yds passing) and St Louis when we gave up 200… imo again they slept on them. The upshot on those games were that they were all “W”s. But even allowing about 160 yds to those 4 teams on the ground, the Hawks only allowed just over 101 yds a gm on the ground, w/ only a 3.9 avg. Sure Bryant played a decent part in that, but hes one man. So I hardly consider the run D in any danger. I get that youre correllating the potential affect of losing Bryant AND Mebane. But the only moves that havent really worked thus far for Schneider and Carroll were taking chances on guys that were already in the league but unproven(like Whitehurst). Many thought signing Bennett initially, even to the 1 year contract was a risk with his shoulder injury and all. I have total faith in the moves they make… this is not the Holmgren regime where they sign all these guys that are in the twilight of their careers to big money contracts. This is still a youth first team, w/ the seasoned veterans to complement the deep rotation. I think the run D will be good to go…

        • Paddy

          Definitely. I think losing Mebane would be killer though. Mebane and Bryant were both guys who plugged holes despite being double teamed. I think they’ll weather the loss of Bryant because of their depth. Losing two guys who command that kind of attention would be bad news though. I’m sure K. Williams could fill in at NT decently, but I don’t know if I have faith in the depth behind him (Staten/J Williams). J. Williams is still an injury risk in my opinion and hasn’t been tested yet.

          I’ll also add in the away game in SF as another bad game for the run D. They did well most of the game, but that final game sealing run by Gore ended a game the Seahawks could have finally come out of SF with a win after not doing so for a number of years.

          • aicdragon29 .

            Yes, that run by Gore was killer but it was a lapse on one play. Personally feel that any defense with any set of players could give up a fluke play on any given day. Thats why I dont really count that. They shut them down all game long until that one play. But regardless, you could technically even list the NFC Championship game, but the reason I dont, is that the Hawks were taking away the passing routes and trying to get Kaep to run or throw where he shouldnt, and he was poking holes in the D for most of the game. But eventually they sealed him off… but with all that said, we’re technically on the same page cuz Mebane isnt and shouldnt go anywhere. And if the writer thinks the Hawks D line is just fine losing Mebane or trading hom away or whatever, well then he best go sober up.

  • Paddy

    So, in other words, this author thinks it would be a good idea to trade away the heart and soul of the offense (Lynch even for one more year) and perhaps get rid of one of the best NT’s in the NFL to create a logjam at WR (Harvin, Johnson, Baldwin, Kearse, Richardson, Norwood)? The Seahawks just lost 3 guys on the DL (one of them a strong run defender), so it makes little sense to get rid of a 4th (best run defender on the team). You can bet money on it that teams like GB, 49ers, Rams, etc. would be running at the Seahawks all day if they dismantled their run D like that. The offense has the pieces to score a lot of points and win SB’s with balance and efficiency, but I think the D is by far the most fragile because of how good they were last season. It’s a lot easier for a historic defense to drop off than an offense that was decent last year, but endured loads of injuries. I can honestly see the Seahawks run D sliding to below average in the NFL if they lose Mebane along with Bryant.