The Houston Texans and Johnathan Joseph decided to part ways this past week, ending a nine-year run of excellence between the franchise and the cornerback.
Johnathan Joseph is the greatest free agent signing by the Houston Texans in franchise history, and one day he will end up in the Texans Ring of Honor with his name posted beside Andre Johnson and Bob McNair.
Whenever that honor occurs, it will be very well-deserved, but for now Joseph is going to see if he can make the roster of another NFL team, while the Texans will also be moving on, looking to replace of the the greatest players in franchise history.
This week when it was announced, the Texans released a statement about Joseph’s tenure with the team, which includes being the franchise leader in interceptions with 17 in nine seasons:
“Johnathan has been a consummate professional, team captain and one of the leaders of our defense for the past nine years. It is rare for a player to sustain such a high level of play for over a decade and that says so much about him and his dedication to the game. He is an exceptional teammate, mentor, husband and father.
His impact on and off the field makes him quite possibly the most celebrated free agent signing in franchise history. The entire Houston Texans organization thanks Johnathan for the contributions he made to our team and the Houston community. We wish him and his family all the best as he pursues free agency.”
The statement rings true in all aspects, because the Texans wouldn’t be the franchise they are today if Joseph never joined the team. As for a statement from Joseph, the cornerback posted a letter to fans on Twitter, writing in detail his feelings for his tenure with the Texans:
During his nine seasons with the Texans, Joseph played in 133 regular-season games with 128 starts, and those games included 17 interceptions (four touchdowns), 118 passes defensed, five forced fumbles, 482 total tackles (421 solo), eight tackles for loss and one QB hit.
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In what is his final season with the Texans in 2019, Joseph had a grade of 64.0 from Pro Football Focus, a season where he collected 46 solo tackles, one interception and he was targeted 78 times, allowing 48 receptions.
None of us should remember Joseph for his final season, but for his nine years with the Texans as a whole. When Joseph came over from Cincinnati in 2011 — Joseph played his first five seasons with the Bengals — he helped make the Texans a very good defense, and the Texans a respective franchise.
In Joseph’s first season with Houston in 2011, the Texans went 10-6 and won the AFC South championship, then they followed that with another division title the following season with another 10-6 record. The Texans also won AFC South titles in ’15, ’16, ’18 and ’19, all with Joseph on the roster, so Joseph has been a part of all six division titles won by the franchise.
Also while with the Texans, Joseph was a member of the Top 100 team in ’12 (No. 73), a two-time Pro Bowl selection (’11, ’12) and the AFC Player of the Week (Week 6 in ’17).
Joseph’s leadership and veteran presence will be missed for the franchise as a whole, but the Texans needed to move on for a variety of reasons. Still, nobody should ever forget how important Joseph was to the Texans during his nine seasons, and he’s left his mark on the franchise for the foreseeable future.