Future Hall of Fame receiver Andre Johnson signed a one-day contract on Wednesday to officially retire as a member of the Houston Texans organization. Johnson spent 12 seasons with Houston and will be recognized as one of the franchise’s most beloved players. Andre Johnson holds almost every Houston Texans receiving record and is even 10th all time in the NFL’s receiving yards list.
Andre Johnson spent a large majority of his NFL career on bad Texans teams and compiled a record of 24-108 which spanned from 2003-2014. Despite only making the playoffs twice in his 12 years with the team, Andre Johnson consistently delivered on the offensive side of the ball. The seven-time Pro Bowler eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark seven times in his career and led the league in receiving in 2008 and 2009. The Houston Texans would never have emerged as a successful expansion franchise in 2002 without drafting Andre Johnson third overall in 2003.
Johnson joined a long list of players to sign a one-day contract with his former team instead of retiring with the one he most recently played for. Andre Johnson wanted the city of Houston to know how important they meant to him even after his NFL career was over.
During his retirement press conference today at the Houston Texan facilities, Andre Johnson had a long list of people to thank for his long career that started with his mother. Andre Vergara of Fox Sports wrote about Johnson’s retirement and quoted him on his appreciation for his mother throughout his playing days.
“Everything I did on that field was because of you. A lot of people don’t know, but I played the game of football very angry. And the reason I played that way was just because of where I grew up. I just never wanted to go back to living that lifestyle again. So seeing the sacrifices you made — I remember you’d fallen asleep coming to pick me up from night school — it was just tough times that we experienced as a family that I never wanted to experience again. So I’m very thankful to you for that.”
Many players give out a list of people to thank during their retirement speech, but a class act like Andre Johnson showed the media how much his mother and teammates meant to him during such an emotional moment in his career. There were even moments during his conference where he had to stop himself from speaking to hold back tears from streaming down his face.
Andre Johnson admitted the only thing he regrets about his career is not bringing a championship to the city of Houston. Even without the championship parade in downtown Houston, Johnson helped kicked the tires of an NFL franchise back in Southern Texas. He brought them their first playoff appearance in the history of the franchise and led the team in receiving for 11 of his 12 seasons with the team.
Several former coaches and players attended the conference including Bill O’Brien, JJ Watt, and DeAndre Hopkins. Many players would have stayed away from the conference after Johnson played his final two seasons with division rivals Indianapolis and Tennessee, but Andre Johnson was well respected by his peers even in his final moments with the team.
Sarah Barshop of ESPN discussed Andre Johnson’s Hall of Fame chances and even used a quote from Bill O’ Brien in her recent article.
“He go down as one of the best receivers to ever play the game.”
Whether you were a fan of his career or not, it is now just a waiting game to see how long it will take before Andre Johnson is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
[Featured Image by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]