Andre Johnson retired from the NFL as member of the Houston Texans on Wednesday, and the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver broke into tears as he thanked his mom.
“Everything I did on that field was because of you,” Johnson said at his news conference. “A lot of people don’t know, but I played the game of football very angry. And the reason I played that way was just because of where I grew up. I just never wanted to go back to living that lifestyle again. So seeing the sacrifices you made — I remember you’d fallen asleep coming to pick me up from night school — it was just tough times that we experienced as a family that I never wanted to experience again. So I’m very thankful to you for that.”
He also gave a tearful thank you to his uncle Andre and credited him with being the male role model in his life. Then Johnson wiped his eyes and cracked, “Now that I got that outta the way…” to appreciative laughter.
Johnson signed a one-day contract to retire with the team that drafted him No. 3 overall in 2003. He holds nearly every Texans receiving record and is 10th in NFL history in career receiving yards (14,185) and 11th in receptions (1,062). Back in 2016, we called him one of 15 current players who are locks for the Hall of Fame.
“The only regret I have is not bringing this organization a championship,” Johnson told reporters.