Andre Johnson spent 11 of his 13 years in the NFL playing for the Houston Texans after being drafted in 2003. And despite wasting the prime of his career on several losing teams in Houston, Johnson managed to establish himself as one of the league’s most prominent wide receivers in history — finishing 11th on the NFL all-time receiving yards list (14,185).
His career with the Texans came to an end when he signed with the Colts during the 2015 offseason. But Johnson’s departure from the organization could have occurred three years before he arrived in Indianapolis.
During his guest appearance on I am Athlete — a weekly YouTube unscripted and uncensored podcast — Johnson revealed that he once asked the Texans for a trade, but ownership would not budge.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but I asked for a trade,” Johnson said. “I went to the owner [Robert McNair]. I went to the general manager [Rick Smith]. And I went to the head coach. I met with all three of them at the same time and I’m like ‘Man, let me get out of here. Let me go somewhere where I can at least try to win me a Super Bowl.’ They told me straight up, ‘No. you are not going anywhere.’”
Johnson’s trade request came after the Texans’ 12-4 season in 2012. He said he felt the team was too top-heavy, which was the reason why the Texans lost to the New England Patriots during the divisional round of the postseason.
When showing support for Deshaun Watson in January, it was Johnson’s own experience with ownership dismissing his voice in his now-infamous tweet speaking out against the Texans.
“At the end of the day, they have all the power and I was already locked in,” Johnson said. “The next year, we go 2-14. Of course, they are going to make you feel like you don’t know what you are talking about because you are the player. But evidently, it is something I see.”
“That’s the thing; because we are players, they don’t like to listen or may feel less of a person when we come at them with something. It doesn’t hurt to listen.”