The Houston Texans have released receiver Andre Johnson after 12 years with the team.
John Mcclain of the Houston Chronicle reported last Monday that Johnson and his agent were given permission to seek a trade from the Texans. Last Wednesday, Johnson’s agent told ProFootball Talk that he asked the Texans to release Johnson.
By asking for his release, Johnson walked away from the remaining $US23 million on his contract.
Teams would have been reluctant to trade for Johnson because of the amount of money remaining on his contract and because he is turning 34 this summer.
His targets and total receiving yards also have decreased each of the last three seasons. Last year he finished 936 receiving yards, his lowest in a season in which he played 10 or more games since 2005.
Johnson is now a free agent and can sign with any team that offers him a contract. Johnson is reportedly interested in the Seahawks, Colts, Packers, and Patriots. Johnson still has value, but it’s unlikely a team would sign him to a contract similar to what he just left behind with the Texans.
According to McClain, Johnson met with Texans coach Bill O’Brien weeks ago and was told his role would be reduced in the 2015 season.
It did not sit well with Johnson who said:
“I don’t know how you tell a guy who catches 85 balls that he’ll only probably catch 40. I feel like the role they were trying to put me in I’d be held back from maximizing my talents. I feel like that was the best thing for both sides. Why sit there and be miserable when I can go somewhere else and be able to show my talents.”
Perhaps by asking for a release, Johnson and his agent have reason to believe they can make up the money he’s be losing elsewhere, but it’s a risk nonetheless for a player on the backend of his career.
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