Andre Johnson is apparently unsure whether or not he wants to return to play for the Houston Texans next season. Despite still being at the top of his game, he cites coaching changes and mediocrity as reasons for his uncertainty. I can’t help but wonder if Dez Bryant might come to a similar crossroads at some point.
Johnson holds franchise records for the Texans in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Obviously his indecision isn’t about him no longer being able to perform or not being used correctly. Johnson wants to compete for a title, and he isn’t sure what his immediate future holds while on the Texans roster. With a new quarterback and coach, Johnson feels as though he is headed toward a rebuilding process instead of a playoff birth.
I immediately thought about a similar situations involving Dez in a few years.
Bryant has the potential to be the best receiver in Dallas Cowboys history if he decides to stay there. But a couple things put that in jeopardy.
What does the future hold for Tony Romo?
If Romo stays healthy and productive I can easily see him playing out his contract. If so, I think Bryant will stay put and have no issue as long as he is putting up great numbers. He would have a more than capable quarterback who loves finding his big play receiver.
The other huge question is how long will Jason Garrett be the head coach?
I’m not sure what effect a potential coaching change would have on Dez. An argument could be made that he might not be fond of a new leader since Garrett has taken every opportunity to stand by Bryant through all of his tough moments. The other side of the argument is that Dez may invite a new coach in, especially if Dallas continues to fall just shy of the playoffs each year. Dez is an extremely passionate player, but many times mediocrity can take its toll on players.
Will that fire and passion for the game still be there in five years?
Johnson still has three years and $32 million left on his current contract. So the thought that Dallas giving Bryant a new contract would erase this type of situation isn’t completely true.
Feelings can often change for players; after all they are human. The sad truth is that the terms of their contracts are as black and white as the ink and paper they are printed on. The teams basically own them for that time period. They either play for that designated team or don’t play at all.
It is almost impossible to forecast what might happen because there are so many factors that play into these decisions. With an emotional player like Bryant, I don’t rule out a similar situation arising for him and the Cowboys in several years.