Fans have known this was coming, but it is still difficult to see. After 12 seasons wide receiver Andre Johnson has officially been released by the Houston Texans. CBS Houston had an update on the situation, including some words from the Houston front office.
"“After exhausting all options of a possible trade, we informed Andre Johnson that he would be released today,” Executive vice president of football operations and general manager Rick Smith said in a statement released by the team. “No player in the history of this franchise has represented the team, city and community in a more professional way. Andre is a Hall of Fame caliber player and we appreciate his years of service and contributions to our team.”"
Finding a trade partner was going to be tough considering the large contract and the fact that the team had already said Johnson would be released if not traded. Most interested teams probably felt it was better to try and lure him via free agency than take on the remaining two years of his deal.
I don’t know a lot of guys in the league that catch 85 balls and have almost 1,000 yards and that’s a down year for them
According to Overthecap.com Johnson was owed around $21 million the next two seasons, but his cap hit would have been more than $16 million in 2015 and $14 million in 2016.
That’s a lot of money for a 33 year old player on the back nine of his respective career. Johnson voiced his frustration about how contracts for vets are not honored, while also scoffing at the notion that he is on the decline.
"“I don’t get where they come up with this honoring your contract when you’re very, very productive and you are doing great things for them…I don’t know a lot of guys in the league that catch 85 balls and have almost 1,000 yards and that’s a down year for them.” Johnson said via NFL.com But you have a year like that and then it’s ‘well, you’re old, we want to reduce your role,’ and all this stuff — I don’t get that.”"
Andre leaves the team with 1,012 receptions for 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns. He is the most productive offensive player the Texans have ever had. It will be weird to see Johnson wearing a different uniform next season.
The Texans most likely will have to look towards the draft to find a solid receiver to start along side breakout youngster, DeAndre Hopkins who caught 76 passes for 1,210 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2014.