Leading up to the Texans' first day of training camp, there was some media speculation that wide receiver Andre Johnson might not report to practice. He had missed the first few days of OTAs because of a contract dispute before eventually putting it aside and joining the team.
The four-time Pro Bowler, who has led the NFL in receiving yards in back-to-back seasons, was a happy camper when he reported to practice on Friday.
"I've always wanted to be here," Johnson said. "I've never thought about holding out. I think that me missing the first few days of OTAs got a little blown out of proportion. I came in. I'm here now. That's all that matters."
Johnson reportedly indicated after practice that he would like to be the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, but he also clearly stated that he's not worried about his contract and is willing to let the situation play itself out. He expressed confidence in Texans owner Bob McNair, calling him a "man of his word."
"He's the boss," Johnson said. "Whatever he says goes. I'm just waiting. When it works out, it'll work out. I'm just out here getting ready for the season."
McNair discussed the uniqueness of negotiating a contract with a player who still has five years left on his deal.
"Clearly, we've never done anything like this before and there has to be a reason for doing it, and Andre is a special guy so we're giving him some special consideration," he said.
"We think he is going to be our first Hall of Famer and we'd like to see him spend his entire career with the Texans, and so hopefully that is what we will be able to achieve. That is what I'd like to see happen. We're ready to sit down and talk about putting something together that might allow that to happen."
McNair said that he hopes to get a new deal done with Johnson within a couple of weeks.
"We told him we would get it done, and that is what we will do," McNair said.