Trade involving WR Johnson could impact Ravens

Trade involving WR Johnson could impact Ravens
July 10, 2014, 1:15 pm
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Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) returns to the bench after catching a touchdown pass in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Houston.

(AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

The possibility of the Texans trading wide receiver Andre Johnson is a situation the Ravens will watch closely. Not because Johnson is likely to end up in Baltimore. But if Johnson lands with an AFC contender like the Patriots, or an AFC North rival like the Browns, the Ravens could be directly impacted.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Thursday that Johnson wanted to be traded, and that four unidentified teams were interested.

The obvious Ravens connection to Johnson is offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, who coached Johnson for seven-plus seasons in Houston. However, it seems unlikely the Ravens will pursue Johnson, largely because he won’t come cheap.  The Texans owe Johnson $33.5 million over the next three years.

The Ravens have already spent heavily at wide receiver this offseason, signing Steve Smith (three years, $11.5 million) and re-signing Jacoby Jones (four years, $14.5 million).  The Ravens also want to re-sign wide receiver Torrey Smith, who is entering the final year of his contract. Re-signing Smith, who is only 25 years old, is a bigger priority than adding Johnson, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday Friday.

However, the Patriots are one of several teams that might come hard after Johnson should the Texans decide to trade him. Adding Johnson to quarterback Tom Brady’s arsenal would make the Patriots an even more serious threat to win the AFC.

What if the Browns, facing the expected suspension of wide receiver Josh Gordon, were able to trade for Johnson? That would mean the Ravens facing Johnson twice next season, including their first road game in Week 3.

The Texans still have not said they were willing to trade Johnson, and a standoff between the two sides could last well into training camp. However, if Johnson goes elsewhere, the Ravens will be hoping he goes to the NFC. 

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