The Jets have been linked to various big name wide receivers either via trade, free agency or in the NFL Draft much of the offseason. Now with Andre Johnson a probable holdout heading into training camp with the Texans next week, the thought of an All-Pro wide receiver on the market made for a natural link to the Jets.
But a Jets team official has ended that rumor.
Trading for Johnson “is not something we are actively pursuing,” one Jets team executive told Metro New York, adding “he isn’t a fit for where we are heading.”
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source said the Texans have done nothing to signal a willingness to deal Johnson. But the source also made it clear the Jets aren’t looking to add Johnson at this point.
“Clearly Andre is a special player, but special players come at a price,” the executive said. “Right now, with the direction the team wants to go, it isn’t the best fit. While he is a tremendous talent, he would hurt a lot of cap flexibility.”
Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is looking for a contract extension, and trading for Johnson could hinder signability there.
Reports last week indicated Johnson was headed for a holdout, and reports this weekend said the Texans were unwilling to trade one of their biggest playmakers on offense. But it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone if the Texans ended up dealing Johnson to be rid of his high salary cap number.
Johnson has a base salary of $10 million in 2014, which increases to $11 million by 2016. Those high figures will make him difficult to move.
He had a team-high 109 receptions for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns with the Texans last season. But he didn’t have a touchdown after Week 10 and just turned 33 years old last week.
“We drafted three wide receivers this year — all mid-round guys with what believe to be high ceilings,” the executive said. “With other additions this offseason, such as Eric [Decker] and [Jacoby] Ford, plus some good young players already on the roster, it would have to be a move that would make sense for us — especially for cap purposes. A big-money wide receiver such as Andre may not be the best allocation of resources.
“He isn’t someone we see ourselves pursuing at this point as part of the direction we want to go.”
The Jets drafted wide receivers Jalen Saunders and Shaq Evans in the fourth round, and Quincy Enunwa in the sixth round.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.