After much spirited discussion factoring in talent, age, injury history, demonstrated production and salary, the Around The League crew has tentatively placed Johnson's trade value at a second-round draft pick.
A seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver himself, Johnson is at the same age as future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez when the Falcons acquired the tight end for a second-round pick in 2009. Atlanta never regretted that trade.
Although there are Texans fans who believe the franchise icon deserves to be set free to join a contender, we remain skeptical that the team's brass will be motivated enough to pull the trigger unless Johnson turns himself into a nuisance of Eagles-era Terrell Owens proportions.
If the Texans were inclined to field offers for the NFL's second-most productive wide receiver over the past two seasons, salary cap repercussions still present a formidable hurdle.
A Johnson trade would leave $11.96 million in dead money against the Texans' 2014 cap, per NFL Media's Albert Breer. Perhaps just as prohibitive, a prospective suitor would need the space to absorb Johnson's monstrous contract.
The receiver-needy Browns are one of the few teams capable of meeting that qualification, but that would hardly satisfy Johnson's desire to join an instant contender.
It's going to be quite challenging to find a match that suits the Texans' need for fair compensation, Johnson's wishes and the third party's cap situation.
For those reasons, we believe Johnson will be catching passes in new coach Bill O'Brien's offense come September.