Andre Johnson arrived in Indianapolis last offseason in hopes of proving he could still play at a high level.
But from the first game, when the wide receiver dropped a two-point conversion pass in the end zone at Buffalo, Johnson showed he wasn’t the same player who set franchise receiving records for the Houston Texans. Except for a two-touchdown game against his former team, Johnson failed to put up the numbers befitting a three-year, $21-million contract with $10 million guaranteed.
In what was to be expected, the Colts have cut their losses in informing Johnson he will be released from the last two years of his contract, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday citing an unnamed source. The move saves the Colts $5 million. Johnson will count $2.5 million in dead cap money.
The 34-year-old wide receiver caught 41 passes for 503 yards and four touchdowns last season. They were the lowest numbers of his 13-year career, except for when he missed nine games due to injury in 2011.
Johnson had joined running back Frank Gore, a former University of Miami teammate, in signing with the Colts because they thought it gave them the best chance at a Super Bowl ring. But quarterback Andrew Luck missed nine games due to injuries and the Colts struggled to finish 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011. His former team, the Texans, won the AFC South Division title.
The Colts have their share of pass-catching options without him. T.Y. Hilton was signed to a five-year, $65-million extension with $39-million guaranteed last August. Donte Moncrief emerged in his second season as a capable second option. Rookie wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, a first-round draft choice, showed flashes of potential despite missing five games due to a fractured fibula.
Johnson went to seven Pro Bowls with the Texans and has impressive career numbers with 1,053 receptions for 14,100 yards and 68 touchdowns. The reception total ranks eighth and receiving yards ninth in NFL history. The question now is will he retire?
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