Johnson has five years remaining on his contract and will make a base salary of $5.8 million in 2010. When he still had two years remaining on his original deal, the Texans redid it in March of 2007. He got an eight-year, $60 million package with $15 million guaranteed.
Berman talked to GM Rick Smith about Johnson’s absence Monday.
"I'm not real worried about that," said Rick Smith. "We re-did him with two years left on his original deal and that was three years ago.
"And over the first three years of that deal, I think if you even ask him, he's been well compensated.
"He's got five years left on that deal. We're willing to sit down and talk with him and he knows that."
Smith acknowledges that re-doing a contract with five years left is unusual.
"It's very difficult," said Smith. "It's something that's not customary, but we've got a relationship with him and he knows we are willing to sit down and talk with him."
If Johnson wanted to get management’s attention more publicly, so be it. But he’s rated as a true pro and saw how Dunta Robinson’s contract dispute was unhealthy for the team last year.
Johnson has a tremendous amount invested in the Texans. With Houston believing it’s ready to make the jump into the playoffs, I have a hard time imagining Johnson would create an extended scenario where he or his contract is an issue.