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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