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August 13, 2014 - Mike McLain
CLEVELAND – Talk radio is heating up over rumors that the Browns might be willing to trade quarterback Brian Hoyer to the Houston Texans in a deal that might include Texans disgruntled receiver Andre Johnson.
Speculation increased after the Browns signed quarterback Rex Grossman for what would be a third-team spot on the depth chart. Grossman has played in 54 and started 47 games in an 11-year career. He would seem to be suited to fill the primary backup role, which would then make Hoyer expendable.
The conjecture is that Grossman would be willing to be a tutor to rookie Johnny Manziel, while Hoyer wouldn’t be inclined to accept such a role. Hoyer tipped his hat by rejecting an offer to sign a multi-year contract so he can test the free agent market next year.
There’s no question that Manziel is destined to be the starter at some point, probably early in his career. If he starts the opener, Hoyer would have to perform at a high level and produce plenty of wins to keep Manziel off the field.
Landing Johnson would help the offense deal with the expected loss of Josh Gordon because of a substance-abuse violation. Word of Gordon’s appeal of a year-long suspension could come as soon as this week.
Johnson recently turned 33, but when healthy he remains one of the NFL’s elite receivers. He has 12,661 receiving yards and 61 touchdowns in his career. Last season he caught 109 passes for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns.
Johnson threatened to hold out this year because of disappointment with the direction he feels the Texans are headed. They posted a league-worst 2-14 record last season and go into 2014 with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback.
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