Amidst a barrage of roster moves by general manager Nick Caserio arose the surprising headline that the Houston Texans intent to keep running back David Johnson in 2020.
That is, as long as they can renegotiate his current deal...
Currently set to earn $8.5 million in 2021, $2.1 million of which is guaranteed, Johnson, per the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson, is targeted for a return. The Texans wish to retain Johnson so long as his heavy contract can be adjusted.
The former Arizona Cardinals All-Pro is fresh off a somewhat underwhelming season. Moving to the Texans in 2020, many had hoped this fresh start would be the rejuvenation Johnson needed to get back to his former best. However, barring some strong performances at the tail end of the season it wasn't to be.
Despite this, Caserio clearly believes there is life in Johnson yet.
Johnson did begin to find his groove in this offense after missing Week 14, following which he enjoyed somewhat of a miniature renaissance. In Week 15 he received for 106 yards, rushed for 128 in Week 16, and recorded a combined 120 yards from scrimmage in Week 17.
READ MORE: Texans Dump Duke Johnson; Start Of A Trend?
It is quite plausible that the Texans believe that Johnson has begun to find his rhythm again and he can pick up where he left off next season. That being said, it's equally possible that they realize they will have over $2 million invested in him regardless of if he's on the roster or not, so they may as well try to get something for their investment.
Regardless, this news comes on the same day the Texans released Johnson's backup Duke Johnson in order to clear approximately $5 million in cap space. Naturally, there will be questions raised as to whether they chose to release the correct Johnson at running back, given Duke is only 27 and David 29.
However, given their respective ages and David's injury history, it does seem more likely that he'd be willing to tune down his current deal than the younger Duke.
If nothing else, Texans fans and media alike have been calling for changes and berating the organization for some time now for some of their questionably high contracts.
Caserio's sweeping changes to the roster will at the very least help sort out their cap issues and give the roster a breath of fresh air. And it looks likely that Johnson is set to be a part of said roster for another year at least.