Every year in the NFL there is guaranteed to be a handful of contract disputes. Players will go to extreme measures to make sure their pay equals their performance. They’ll go to the media expressing their displeasure, hold out of training camp and OTAs, and in extreme situations will demand a trade and sell their loyalty to the highest bidder. Some do it when they really do deserve the pay raise and others jump the gun after 1 good season fearing they might not get what they deserve. Andre Johnson did it the right way.
He rarely says anything negative about his team or fellow players. In 2005, during the worst season in franchise history, he refused to throw anyone under the bus. He kept his head down, worked hard, and became the best WR in the NFL without even saying a word at a position dominated by prima donnas. Keep in mind this was a time when David Carr was the QB and Andre had some nagging injuries (enough to frustrate anyone) and he said nothing. Even when he had success, he never said a word other than thanking his team, and he definitely never got a big head. When he thought it was time for a new deal he quietly made his desires known to the front office. He was worried he wasn’t being heard and held out of *gasp* 2 OTAs (organized team activities) which is like pre- pre- training camp. Instead of waiting until he got a deal, he returned 2 days later because he had faith a new deal would get done. Sure enough, Andre is now the highest paid WR in the NFL barely making more per year than Larry Fitzgerald. Funny thing is, I doubt too many people will take note of this. During a time dominated by talk of “me” players like Brett Favre and Terrell Owens, not many people will notice. Andre Johnson will take his new contract with a smile on his face and go back to work as he would have with or without a new contract. He truly is a special talent.