Easily the greatest Houston Texan since the team was founded in 2002, WR Andre Johnson will now be the team’s enemy twice a year.
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said that former star WR Andre Johnson refused to acknowledge that he had lost a step, which led to Johnson’s decision to leave the team.
At the league owner’s meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, McNair told ESPN.com reporter Tania Ganguli that Johnson balked at the idea of receiving a reduced role with the team in 2015 despite a steady decline in his stats. Johnson, a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection, has been with the Texans since they drafted him No. 3 overall in the 2003 NFL draft.
Johnson caught 85 passes for 936 receiving yards and 3 TDs in 2014, but his 11.0 yards/reception and 62.4 yards/game were both the lowest he had recorded since 2005. But Johnson will be 34 when the 2015 season starts, so the Texans released their franchise player rather than trade him. Johnson would go on to sign with the Indianapolis Colts – the Texans’ bitter division rival.
“Every athlete I think would like to play forever,” McNair said.
“They never want to acknowledge that they’ve lost a step or they can’t quite do what they did before. Just look at history. Look at all the players. It just happens time and time again. We don’t like to acknowledge that we’re getting older. None of us do. That’s just human nature, and I don’t think that’s going to change. … They’re used to being a star and they’d like to continue being a star. I don’t blame ’em, I understand that.”
Johnson has 1,012 career receptions for 13,597 and 80.5 yards/game – all of which are in the top 15 in NFL history and are the all-time marks in Texans history. He has led the NFL in receiving yards twice, receptions twice and yards/game three times.