Nov 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
14. Andre Johnson’s release, then succession by DeAndre Hopkins emergence as an instant star
Wide receiver Andre Johnson was an absolute stud for the Texans. In his 12 seasons he racked up 1,012 receptions for 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns. Before the 2015 season though, he was told that the team had a lesser role in mind for the franchise receptions leader, and Johnson was not interested.
Sadly, the team said goodbye to Johnson after he asked to be released. He then signed with the Indianapolis Colts, but only had 24 catches after the first nine games of 2015.
On the other hand, Houston was able to completely unleash DeAndre Hopkins as the top receiver and go-to-guy. At the half-way point, “Nuk” Hopkins recorded an amazing 66 receptions for 870 yards and six touchdowns.
Hopkins is an absolute beast and while it was hard to see a franchise leader like Andre go, it is sometimes a necessary evil in the NFL. Allowing a veteran to leave while they still have something in the tank is a risk, but seeing someone like “Nuk” explode can be the reward.
Next: Moment in history, number 13