The Packers re-signed Randall Cobb, but he may not be the only free agent wide receiver that has interest in playing in Green Bay next year. According to the brother of Andre Johnson, the former Houston Texans wideout has his eyes on the frozen tundra as well as other locations.
Johnson, of course, is an All-Pro and likely Hall of Famer who would improve the receiving corps of any team he joins. He became available the Texans released him following a failed attempt to locate a trade partner. While no longer the otherworldly talent he was in his younger days, Johnson still commands extra defensive attention. Playing with Houston's rotation of lackluster quarterbacks, he still produced a near 1,000-yard season in 2014.
While the Packers don't lack for pass catchers with Cobb back in the mix, Johnson could give the team its best collection of weapons since the 2011 group that featured Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Donald Driver, Cobb and Jermichael Finley.
But while Johnson apparently told his brother that Green Bay interests him, would he actually want to make the sacrifices to play there? More so than the money, the chief catalyst for Johnson asking for his release from Houston was the team's request that he take on a reduced role in the offense. With the Packers, Johnson would be no better than a third option in the passing game, and he might not even be that. The team likes what it has in Davante Adams, a well-built wideout who expects to take a big step in 2015. Even if Adams isn't a better player currently, he could surpass Johnson sometime this season.
Not convinced? Consider DeAndre Hopkins, the second-year receiver who became the No. 1 option in the Texans' passing game last season. Like Adams, Hopkins stands 6'1", 215 pounds and possesses strong hands and great leaping ability. Both players are quicker than fast, but have a knack for creating separation. Given that Hopkins overtook Johnson in Houston's pecking order, it wouldn't be a shock to see Adams do the same in Green Bay.
For now, Johnson is nothing more than a hypothetical. After all, general manager Ted Thompson rarely makes splashes into free agency, and when he does it usually comes on defense.
At the same time, Thompson has shown willingness to break away from his approach for the right player. Because his Texans released Johnson, signing him wouldn't affect the Packers' comp pick calculation, a factor the team would consider. It would also give Johnson the chance to play with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers, a stark departure from the rotation of forgettable signal callers Houston has trotted out.
Still, it's hard to see a union happening. Johnson is going to have plenty of options, perhaps including either of the two teams that played in the Super Bowl last month. While the Packers can offer the chance to contend for a title, there's probably a better fit for Johnson elsewhere.