It was an end of an era of sorts for the Texans as they announced they had cut Andre Johnson, an original Texan who became the face of the franchise.
Johnson is now free to purse a new deal with other teams as a free agent. He has been getting some good buzz from other teams about possibly taking him onto their roster on a multiple year deal. Only the Colts have really stood out as a team that has serious interest in him. Other teams such as the Patriots and the Seahawks have been rumored with him but that is just all speculation at this point.
The future hall of famer still has a desire to play the game and to win a Super Bowl before he calls it a career. As loyal as he has been to the Texans organization over the years, they right now are not in position to give him that opportunity with a young team still trying to find its legs and its quarterback more importantly. He now has set himself up with a window to go to a contender and see if he can lend a helping hand to a team that might only a player or two away from being able to get to the top of the mountain, such as the Colts.
Though he is not what he once was in his prime, Johnson still is a legitimate down field threat who can make big plays in the pass game and help stretch out a defense, allowing other receivers on the team to be able to make plays underneath and elsewhere on the field.
The now former Texan did let his feelings be known before he was cut about the decision by the Texans franchise to reduce his role and salary for this upcoming season had he stayed (via Josina Anderson, ESPN):
“The funny thing is that when [a player] asks to be traded or something, people get on you about honoring your contract. But when you’ve done a lot for an organization and they feel like you get old, then they don’t have to honor their contract,” Johnson said. “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. 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. But that’s the nature of the business. Like I said, it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to a lot of people.”
You can understand Johnson’s frustration with this whole situation especially with how productive he has been on the field for Houston and what he has meant to it being the face of the franchise for them for years before J.J Watt came along. One would like to think that they would still keep him on the team despite some decline in production but this is a business and sentimentality does not have a place in it.
The team understands that and Johnson himself does as well. This is why it is good to see both parties be able to move on from one another and be able to move forward with their plans for the future.
There is no ill feelings toward one another and I am sure that in the future when Johnson is retired for a time, the Texans will honor him with all sorts of ceremonies and special accolades for a player who is the best player the franchise has ever had suit up for them in their history. There will be no forgetting of what he accomplished and how he helped the franchise go from an expansion team to one that did rise up and contend for a Super Bowl for a few years.
Johnson though he will be playing in another uniform will forever be remembered as a Texan at heart.