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The divide between Andre Johnson and the Houston Texans continues to grow.
NFL Media reported Thursday that the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver has informed the Texans he wants to play elsewhere, and is “not thinking about the Texans” anymore.
Johnson doesn’t want to play for another rebuilding team, which was the phase the Texans were stuck during most of the early part of his career. Now that quarterback Matt Schaub and coach Gary Kubiak are out of town, Johnson doesn’t want to start the process all over again.
Johnson believes the team is rebuilding, and he has said he has doubts about if he wants to take part in another similar process, as he has several times in his career.
The Texans have resisted his request for a trade thus far, though four teams have expressed interest.
Which four teams have been showing interest in Johnson? Let’s look at the crystal ball and determine where he’d fit in best:
1. New England Patriots
This is a no-brainer and by far the best fit. The Pats’ best receiver is Rob Gronkowski, and his health remains a question mark. Then it’s Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, plus a bunch of youngsters.
Johnson could be Brady’s true possession receiver out wide, instantly putting the Patriots in the discussion for a top-three AFC offense. Plus, wouldn’t this allow the Texans to get a hold of Ryan Mallett?
2. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are certainly not the favorite in the NFC East in 2014, but Johnson would instantly improve an offense lacking a true No. 2 wide receiver.
Aside from Dez Bryant, Tony Romo is throwing to Jason Witten and Terrance Williams, who has only one season under his belt. Johnson could easily draw attention away from Bryant and allow Williams to play in the slot.
All of a sudden the ‘Boys would be a lot more formidable on offense.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are reportedly high on their young crop of wide receivers, but wouldn’t Johnson give them an edge in a very competitive AFC South?
Antonio Brown is one of the best in the league at stretching the field, and Lance Moore is among the best slot receivers in the game. Markus Wheaton remains a project, while Darrius Heyward-Bey is anything but a sure investment.
Johnson’s skill-set can offset that of Brown, giving Ben Roethlisberger a chance for a major comeback campaign.
4. Carolina Panthers
What a disastrous offseason the Panthers endured, losing Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr. in free agency, and replacing them with the likes of journeymen Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant, and rookie Kelvin Benjamin.
Cam Newton lost three of his top four targets, and the team seems poised for a regression following a 12-4 campaign. Johnson gives Newton a true No. 1 wideout and perhaps a chance for the Panthers to be more competitive in the tough NFC South in 2014.
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