Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans, on Monday, let star wide receiver Andre Johnson know that if he came back for 2015 with the team he would do so in a reduced role. Because of this, Johnson asked for a trade or to be cut. The Texans told Johnson that he could seek a trade.
On Tuesday Johnson’s agent Kennard McGuire joined Nick Wright & John Lopez on In The Loop on SportsRadio 610 to talk about the situation Andre was put in. McGuire told In The Loop Johnson was given permission to find a trade partner, but not until after talks of a reduced role was broached.
“Andre did not, in the last couple of days, go in and ask for a trade,” McGuire said. “Certain things were expressed to [Andre] in which he didn’t agree with. And at that point in time permission was thusly granted to seek an opportunity elsewhere. That was not something that we asked for. That was something that was presented to us.”
“The contractual matters never did come up,” McGuire told Wright and Lopez about conversations Johnson had with Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien. “The only thing that was discussed was the roll and that was in fact that there would be a reduced role.”
Before the 2014 season Johnson held out for a little while, but returned to the team during training camp. Part of the reason for the hold out, according to McGuire was to get reassurances that Johnson would be back in 2015.
“What we were looking to do last year was have an element of assurance that we wouldn’t be in this position this year,” McGuire said. “That was not asking for any more dollars. Basically what we wanted was the security in knowing that [Johnson] would be playing for the Texans in ’15.”
Multiple outlets reported last year that Johnson would be back in 2015, as well as Texans Owner Bob McNair saying he wanted Johnson to be “a Texan for life.”
“There were several conversation that took place and he did get that information that ‘you’re fine, don’t worry about that,'” Johnson’s Agent said about last year. “We understand that this is the reality of our business and as Andre and I have always talked, I believe in life that you exit the same way you entered. So, if you entered in a classy way you’re going to exit in the same way as well.”
Johnson has stated that he was told he would not be a starter and McGuire believes that the reduction in role was a way for the Texans to, in a round about way, ask for a pay-cut.
Johnson can either find a trade now or wait to be cut and then sign with any team. McGuire believes there is a market for the wide receiver.
“[The Texans] just granted permission. We’re on the ground running now,” McGuire said. “I believe there will be a market for him.”