HOUSTON – After two years away, Andre Johnson returned to the Houston Texans for a day and then retired from football.
The wide receiver signed a one-day deal Wednesday allowing him to retire where he played during most of his professional career.
Johnson spent the first 12 years of his career with Houston after being drafted with the third overall pick in the 2003 draft. He was released from the team in 2015 and was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts. He played for a single season and then moved to the Tennessee Titans for the 2016 season.
The 35-year-old was joined by Texans managers who welcomed him back to the team and presented him with the single-day contract for the 2017 season.
“Congratulations, and welcome home,” a team spokesman said.
Johnson, who seemed a little overwhelmed by the pomp and circumstance, said he really didn’t think his returning to Houston would be that big of a deal.
“I hope that I pleased you guys with the way I played the game,” Johnson said.
He is the franchise leader in nearly every receiving category including receptions (1,012), receiving yards (13,597), receiving touchdowns (64) and 100-yard games (51).
He started 169 games for Houston between 2003 and 2014.
Johnson got choked up while thanking his mother for all the sacrifices she made so that he can succeed.
“Everything I did on that field was because of you,” Johnson said, wiping away tears.
Johnson also thanked his Texans teammates, many of whom were at the ceremony, including J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Tom Savage.
“I didn’t think I would be up here crying,” Johnson said with a chuckle. “It’s a feeling you get when you’re up here, knowing that you’re closing a chapter.”
Johnson said he’s looking forward to being fan now, and wished the Texans the ultimate success.
“I’ve come home, and I’ve retired,” Johnson said. “My career ends here.”