HOUSTON (AP) Andre Johnson got the deal he wanted and says he’s committed to playing for the Houston Texans for his entire career.
The All-Pro receiver signed a two-year extension on Thursday that will keep him in Houston through the 2016 season.
Neither the Texans nor Johnson’s agent, Kennard McGuire, would disclose terms. The Houston Chronicle and KRIV-TV reported that Johnson’s extension had a maximum value of $38.5 million, including $13 million guaranteed.
Johnson said he was satisfied.
“There’s nothing I can complain about,” he said. “For me to be in the situation I was in, for this to happen, it just speaks a lot to the people we have in the organization and the owner we have. It’s a first-class organization. I’m very happy right now.”
Johnson has led the league in receiving yards the past two seasons and topped 100 catches in three of the past four. He has the NFL’s highest receiving yards average (90.2 per game) since 2006.
Team owner Bob McNair envisions Johnson becoming the franchise’s first Hall of Fame inductee, and he never wants to see him play for another team.
“Andre is in a special class, and I think the action we’ve taken is a reflection of how we view Andre,” McNair said. “It’s important to us that Andre have one home, and that’s with the Texans.”
The 29-year-old Johnson had five years left on his old contract, but told McNair and Smith earlier this year that he wanted a new deal. The soft-spoken receiver caused a stir when he skipped three voluntary workouts in May and brought his desire for a new contract to light.
But his absence, and the media attention it drew, made Johnson uneasy and he arrived on time to training camp, hoping that the ongoing negotiations wouldn’t become a distraction.
“I can’t say that the offseason wasn’t a little bit frustrating, just sitting at home and thinking about contract things,” he said. “Once I came in, I put it behind me and I let my agent handle it. As you can see, it worked out, so I’m very excited about it.”
After the first team workout, McNair said he hoped to sign Johnson to a restructured contract within two weeks. The two sides agreed to terms in less than half that time.
“I always said I wanted to play for one team,” Johnson said, “and to be able to play for the Houston Texans for the rest of my career, it’s a tremendous honor.”
The Texans drafted Johnson third overall in 2003, the expansion franchise’s second year of existence. The team re-signed him to an eight-year contract in 2007.
Houston finished with losing records in Johnson’s first four seasons as he blossomed into one of the NFL’s top receivers. He made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and ’07, then led the league in receptions (115) and receiving yards (1,575) in 2008.
The Texans went 9-7 last year, their first winning record, and Johnson said the franchise’s improvement was a big reason why he wanted to stay here.
“I always said I wanted to be a part of something special,” he said. “I know coming to a new organization, things were going to be a little rough in the beginning. Now, I feel like things have taken that turn for us. I’m very excited for this upcoming season.”
McGuire, whose clients include Brandon Marshall and Javon Walker, said the negotiations were amicable.
“When good people come together, good things happen,” he said.
McNair and Smith said they wouldn’t normally consider redoing a player’s contract with so much time left on it. But he said Johnson’s value to the team created special circumstances.
Johnson is the first receiver since Jerry Rice to lead the league in receiving yards in consecutive seasons. He joined Indianapolis’ Marvin Harrison as the only other receiver to surpass 1,500 receiving yards on back-to-back years.
“We just feel like he’s in a class of his own,” Smith said. “You know, if I do have a player or two that may want to come upstairs and talk about this, I may send them back and tell them to get some skins on the wall like he has and come back and see me.”
Updated August 5, 2010
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