Wide receiver Andre Johnson spent 14 years in the NFL as a member of the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans.
With 1,062 receptions, 14,185 receiving yards and 70 career touchdowns to his name, The 6’3” Johnson was one of the NFL’s most brutal and ruthless threats at the wideout position, especially during a large portion of his 12 years with the Texans.
In fact, he posted 1,000-plus yard seasons seven times, including in six of the seven seasons in which he played all 16 games (in his rookie year, he came up just short with 976).
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He was also selected to seven Pro Bowls.
As you might imagine, the Miami native was extremely driven to put up those kinds of numbers year-after-year. After signing a one-day contract to retire with the Texans on Wednesday, friends, family, the media and everyone on social media found out what a sentimental person Johnson is, as he thanked those in his life who inspired him to succeed.
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Check out the tearful part of his speech below, in which he gets choked up multiple times when thanking his mother. Beware: you might shed a tear or two yourself while watching this.
"A lot of people don't know, but I played the game of football ... I played the game very angry," Johnson said. "And the reason I played that way was just because of the way I grew up. I just never wanted to go back to living that lifestyle again.”
Johnson also thanked his uncle Andre, who served as a father figure for his absent biological father growing up in what was another very emotional part of the ceremony.
"Ever since I was a little kid, I had no man figure to go to and you've been there with me every step of the way," Johnson said. "I thank you for your advice. I thank you for your love. Even at times when I felt like I had nobody to talk to, I could always call you. So I'm very thankful to you for that. And I love you."
The team released a very cool montage of some of his best moments with the organization on Wednesday as well:
He is Houston’s all-time leading receiver with 13,597 yards over his 12 seasons with the organization. When he’s eligible for the Hall of Fame in five years, there’s a strong chance that he will be enshrined with all of the other greats at his position who have graced the field over the years.
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