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Andre Johnson Retires

One week after the greatest running back in the 17-year history of the Houston Texans announced his mid-season retirement, the greatest wide receiver in franchise history has followed suit.

Andre Johnson finishes his NFL career ranked tenth all-time in receiving yards, and as the holder of Texans franchise records for receptions (1,012), receiving yards (13,597), and touchdowns (64). During his 11-year career in Houston he twice led the league in receptions (2006 and 2008), twice led the league in receiving yards (2008 and 2009), was selected to seven Pro Bowls, and was voted first-team All-Pro twice by the Associated Press. By our numbers, he led the league in DYAR in 2008 and ranked second in 2012.

After leaving Houston, he played one season for the Indianapolis Colts and half a season for the Tennessee Titans, during which he added another six touchdowns and just under 600 yards to his career total. He becomes eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022, when he will hopefully avoid being caught in the lengthy wide receiver logjam.

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44 comments, Last at 20 Nov 2016, 7:29pm

1 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Will be caught in the healthy logjam. A great great player. Terrorized the colts for countless seasons. Would have easily been the Texans' greatest franchise player had it not been for JJ

2 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

How much of his Hall of Fame case will be hurt by having played for the Texans?

(1) A losing or at best 0.500 franchise for most/all of his tenure.

(2) A relatively new expansion team (by HoF voter standpoints), that is not storied like Pittsburgh or Dallas.

At least Lynn Swann played for a historic franchise that was a dynasty in its day.

11 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

I think he might have a tough time. His career is probably a tiny bit better than Henry Ellard's (before adjusting for era), who is not in the HOF, though he does have 4 more Pro Bowls than Ellard.

He also looks similar to Steve Largent (who is in), but Largent retired as the all-time leader in TD, Receptions and yards.

He's going to have to compete against Owens, Wayne, Steve Smith, Torry Holt, Calvin Johnson. Then all these receivers playing now that might have a case: AJ Green, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, OBJ, Fitzgerald. Moss will have already been inducted by then.

At a minimum, he's going to have to wait 20-30 years to get in.

21 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

I think he is a clear HOF who should rise above most of the logjam. It wasn't just his numbers either, there was something about him especially in his prime. He wasn't just the best WR in texans history, he was arguably the best player they have had period.

Owens should already be in the hall by then. Some of those others too. And he will have a few years without competing with any of those others.

I don't see him waiting more than a few years, though could be wrong.

13 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

On the flip side - he also produced excellently for the Texans, and was by far their best player for years. I'm sure somebody will make a case along the lines of, "And all this production was on a lousy expansion team, so just think what he could have done on a REAL team!"

3 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Well, we've still got Moss and T.O. in the hopper, and they're going in. As for Johnson's semi-contemporaries, he'll have to deal with Reggie Wayne, Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith . . . don't know if Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, or Chad Johnson get any solid consideration.

It seems really unlikely the WR logjam is going away anytime soon.

18 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Hines Ward was really good, but never thought of him as dominant or one of the best at his position. Also couldn't care less about whether somebody won a ring or not; the sport's too team-dependent to make that a really valid point of comparison.

Hall of Very Good; Hall of Very, Very Good, even.

30 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Winning a ring is the final goal of team sports, so we always have to use it in player evaluation. Hines Ward was one the elite postseason receivers in NFL history, and it will help him enter Canton eventually. Also, being the Steelers all-time leading receiver by a wide margin, best blocking WR ever, and a high number of TD receptions.

Ward was blue collar great, not fantasy football great. Definitely among the grouping of top receivers during his peak years.

31 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

"Winning a ring is the final goal of team sports, so we always have to use it in player evaluation."

Great...while we are it, lets kick out those bums who never won a ring and insert all of the starters from the 80s 49ers, 90s cowboys, and 2000s patriots.

Does anyone outside of Pittsburgh feel like Hines ward is a hall of famer? Count me on the side of absolutely not.

32 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Absolute 'no' to Ward. Was never top 3 at his position. And the Steelers of that era are going to have quite sufficient representation by the time Polamalu and Roethlisberger are inducted (alongside Bettis).

If we are looking for another representative from those defense orientated teams then James Harrison is a better candidate, because at his peak he was truly dominant, on an elite unit.

36 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

There's a bunch of players I'd put in before Ward from those Steelers teams. Polamalu. Faneca. Roethlisberger. Harrison. Hampton. Bettis. Smith. Porter. To be clear, I don't think all those guys belong, or that all of them have better chances than Ward. But for me they're all more deserving.

37 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Another "no" on Hines Ward and the HoF. He's a compiler (and not at the elite level of someone like Monk or Taylor relative to era), plus he has a very low yards per catch average. But he may get in anyway because he's a Steeler.

33 Re: best blocking WR ever

OH really? says who? Jim nantz, bebcucuae he saw Ward block a linebacker few times and it gave him wood?

No doubt H. Ward good blocker but saynig he is best is tough to take. please xplain your stance.

I atctually thought A. Monk better becausue he did same thing Ward did but also could help on line. do not have any stills to share, tbut pretty sure Monk would occasionally line up in 3 pt stance.

charley taylor, Keyshawn Johnson, paul warfield, and many others (particularly of pre 1980s era football could also be mentioned alongside Ward./ Very, evry hard for me to say Ward is best blocker ever cuause J. Nantz said so

35 Re: best blocking WR ever

Keep in mind that "best ever" really means "best in the last 25 years" largely because sportswriters don't know the meaning of the word "ever".

I get so tired of the immediate rush to declare Most Recent Sporting Event as the Best Ever. Overuse of superlatives renders them meaningless.

41 Re: best blocking WR ever

Excellent points by Raiderjoe and Rick. The only way to rank WR blocking ability is via good quality film study, and who knows what that might actually show. Besides, nobody cares about blocking ability in HoF cases for TEs (who traditionally are supposed to be able to do this), never mind WRs.

6 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

The other problem is, that's just at receiver. In the past two years we've also seen Champ Bailey, Jared Allen, Marshawn Lynch, Troy Polamalu, Patrick Willis, Ed Reed, Charles Woodson, and some quarterback guy who played for the Colts and Broncos. They have varying chances of getting in, but they'll all be up for enshrinement around the same time as Johnson & Johnson.

7 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

I'd rank him above all of those guys except Moss, T.O and maybe Smith. Yeah, even Megatron, who had a pretty short peak and whose stats were undoubtedly helped by playing on some of the pass happiest teams of all time. He's an easy HOFer to me, but receiver seems to be a position the voters have no idea what to do with.

Glad to see you mention Chad Johnson. He has absolutely no chance due to his short peak, sudden drop off and behavioural issues, but he's pretty borderline in my book. I'd rank him above Wayne, Welker and probably Bruce too.

8 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

CJ at his peak was probably the best receiver I've ever seen. Lots of teams have been pass happy. None produced in three years the way CJ has (though brown might). His per game totals are staggering. Id go moss, Cj, To, then johnson. Smith and fitz are the only others meriting hof honors.

10 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Peak Moss probably impacted the game directly and indirectly more than CJ did. But Cj felt was the better all around receiver. Moss' mercenary tendencies should also be factored here.

Is it a stretch to call CJ the 2nd best player in franchise history?

12 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Is it a stretch to call CJ the 2nd best player in franchise history?

Yes, but a very slight stretch. Since 1960 Ndamukong Suh, Billy Sims and Lem Barney all had more approximate value per year while playing for the Lions. Night Train Lane ties Calvin Johnson at 10.334 per season in AV while playing for the Lions.

Suh and Sims only had 5 season with the Lions but 'ol Lem averaged 11 AV per year for 11 years so he's gotta be #2 since 1960. Defense is harder than offense, anyway.

Barry Sanders is obviously #1 at 15 AV per season played. Detroit also has 30 seasons of history prior to 1960 for what that is worth but AV only goes back to the AFL founding.


29 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Joe Schmidt was damn good, although I personally remember him as one of the vast array of mediocre Lions coaches. Lem Barney was so damn good, does anyone know if his AV would include punt (9.2 yard carrer avg) and kick (25.5 yard avg) return value? I was surprised Charlie Sanders did not have a higher career AV.

19 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Moss may get knocked a bit for consistency and taking plays off and often being a total stinky jerkface, but Peak Moss is about the greatest thing I've ever seen.

I don't think the Lions were just pass-happy because they had CJ; they were pass-happy because they were run by complete idiots, and Megatron's about the only thing that franchise did right for years.

27 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Wholeheartedly agree that the Lions have been run by complete idiots, but that's not the reason they were so pass-happy during CJ'a prime. They were pass-happy because they were so laughably incompetent at running. At least Scott Linehan was smart enough to realize that. He has been much more run-heavy during his tenure with Dallas, for obvious reasons.

39 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Agreed that Moss and Owens get in, and quickly. Also think Fitzgerald (short), Andre Johnson (medium to long), Wayne (medium to long), and Ca. Johnson (long because of short career) get in after varying degrees of wait. Bruce and Holt probably get in very late in their candidacies but might fall into Senior pool. Smith is in for a very long wait at best and might drop to Senior pool. Don't think Welker or Ch. Johnson get in. The longer Anquan Boldin plays and compiles, the more likely he moves from not in to long wait. Hard to say on Hines Ward, though a very long wait is likely.

42 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

steve smith definite yes for me so if was voter oynl thing making smith wait woiuld be if I had otyher deserving guys needing to be in and it became numbers gam,e

that is talking about regular cadndidates

if discussing serniors, similar thing. ion my Hall, Gradishar, Howley, Johnny robinson, dilweg, some others would all be in but cannot put all in at once so have a numbers gam,e problem. if Gradishar ios candidate for 2018 class, then that maens Howley has to waiot till at least 2019.and so on with these guys

44 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

yes, have mentioned Branch in past. looking at list in ym notebook on most deserving seniors. so literlaly, most deserving seniors in my book- (note: player s not listed in a particular order)--
Chuck Howley
Lavvie Dilweg
Duke Slater
Randy Gradishar
Al Wistert
Cliff Branch
Kenny Easley
Del Shofner
Johnny Robinson

40 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

Hard to say re the WR logjam, but having very few RBs to realistically consider in future (Edgerrin James, Adrian Peterson, and Frank Gore -- assuming Ladanian Tomlinson is elected this year) might take some of the pressure off.

14 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

I would guess he doesn't get in or at least shouldn't. Was he, over his career, in the top 5 wrs consistently? I'd argue no, that Julio Jones, Fitzgerald, Megatron, brown, Smith, moss, green, obj, Wayne, somewhat TO.

I think there isn't really a wr logjam, there are just lowering standards because the league is getting pass happy.

He was fun to watch

23 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

For easily six years from 2008 to 2013, Andre Johnson was definitely a top-five receiver. From 2006 to 2013, Johnson was in the top six receivers for number of catches every single year except 2007 and 2011, both of which saw him miss at least 7 games through injury. From 2008 to 2013, he was in the top seven for receiving yards every single year except 2011, again because he missed half the season injured. That includes 2010, when he only played 13 games but still finished sixth in both receptions and yards. Only Jerry Rice has more seasons with over 1500 receiving yards. (Rice has 4 plus a season at 1499, Johnson and Marvin Harrison have 3, Antonio Brown and Julio Jones may join them on three this year.) The same is true if we lower the bar to 1400. (Rice has six, then there's a four-way tie at four.)

This was while catching passes from Matt Schaub, David Carr, Sage Rosenfels, and T.J. Yates. Kevin Walter and Owen Daniels weren't exactly drawing coverage away from him, and the running game featured the likes of Ron Dayne and Steve Slaton as their leading rushers. (Arian Foster didn't really arrive as a featured back until 2010.)

For two of those years (2008-09) he was arguably the best receiver in the league -- a league which included Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, and Reggie Wayne.

20 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

When you have a great wr on a terrible team with a mediocre, injured QB, a weak running back and limited alternate receiving options- which was the scenario for peak aj in 2008/9, it seems a much easier hof case than a good player on a well-run team surrounded by other amazing talents, including special QB play.
then again, the hof selection process does have a touch of rosencopter to it...

22 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

With his retirement that leaves only two members of the 2001 Miami Hurricanes left in the NFL, Frank Gore and Vince Wilfork (though neither a starter, behind Clinton Portis and William Joseph respectively). Andrel Rolle hasn't retired but isn't on a team and technically Kellen Winslow III hasn't retired either but he hasn't played since 2013, though he had a tryout with the Packers this offseason).

That team was absolutely loaded , but I think I can make a case for Andre Johnson having the second best pro career of that squad (behind Ed Reed).

38 Re: Andre Johnson Retires

My guess is that Andre Johnson gets elected after a good-sized wait. His relatively low number of lifetime TDs will be a major reason for the delay. But will be very surprised if he drops to the Senior pool. Might be anywhere from 6-10 years wait, am guessing.