Usually when a player, with the skills of Andre Johnson, gets a two year extension for some 38 million dollars it isn’t much of a story. However we have to take into account that Johnson had five years left on a seven year deal he just signed two years ago. While this contract likely means Johnson will be a Texan for life, it is pretty interesting that the Texans were willing to rip up his deal and pay him more, while teams like the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans struggle to do much the same thing. So much for the united owners front we keep hearing about.
I don’t want to paint a picture of the Texans as all and mighty, in fact they really kind of had to do this, since Johnson was a little unhappy with his deal, and the fans come to see Johnson play. As a business they need him to help them sell tickets. That makes him very valuable to the organization and since he probably helps sell a lot of merchandise this was a no brainer. Players need to be happy with their deals, and teams should try to accommodate them.
Even though Andre was the third overall pick in 2003, and as always been paid a premium for his talents. That does not mean that his contract was inline with the contracts given to players coming out in the 2008 through the 2010 drafts. More to the point Johnson is a proven commodity and that is where NFL teams should be spending the bulk of their money.
As we sit and think about this one, this might represent the ideal salvo for the league to use against the players union. NFL veterans want more money, and the best place to get that money is by accepting some version of a rookie pay scale and that keeps the money in proven players instead of untested ones.