As fans, we're starting to hear it more and more: Andre Johnson and "Hall of Fame" together in the same sentence. Often times, game announcers and talking heads on sports networks will dub a player "a future Hall of Famer" long before his career is over. Ed Reed, for example. The ensuing induction is nothing but a formality at that point.
I don't think we're there yet in the media, but it's coming for our beloved wide receiver. Unfortunately there are a few more decorated receivers yet to be inducted as you can see below. Anyone with a + next to his name is already in the Hall.
Charts are courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
|Rank||Player (age), + - HOFer, Bold - Active||Yds||Years||Teams|
|6.||Tony Gonzalez (36)||14,824||1997-2013||2TM|
|11.||Reggie Wayne (34)||13,566||2001-2013||clt|
|18.||Andre Johnson (32)||12,220||2003-2013||htx|
At 32 years of age, Andre has plenty of time to add to his yardage totals. Assuming he continues his high level of play, he'll finish this season with around 12,600 yards. With three more years left on his contract and a conservative estimate, it's not inconceivable that Andre averages around 700 to 1000 yards per year for the rest of his career-- putting him around the top 5 in career yardage. All of this is barring injury, of course (just ask Reggie Wayne), but Andre has plenty of other stats and honors to show off.
|Rank||Player (age), + - HOFer, Bold - Active||Rec||Years||Teams|
|2.||Tony Gonzalez (36)||1,295||1997-2013||2TM|
|8.||Reggie Wayne (34)||1,006||2001-2013||clt|
|15.||Andre Johnson (31)||890||2003-2013||htx|
Again, with this season and three more years under contract, Andre has a chance to reach the top 5 with just 200 more catches over that time span. Also, his 890 catches over his 148 career games averages to 6.01 per game. Before the 2013 season began, his 5.93 catches per game was already highest in league history.
Andre Johnson has 21 career games with 10 catches and 100 yards-- a league record. Overall, he has 48 career 100+ yard games.
Andre Johnson has twice led the league in receptions (2006, 2008) and yardage (2008, 2009)
He became one of three players to accrue 1500+ yards two years in a row. Leading the league in yardage during that time span also puts him in company with two other players.
His 82.6 yards per game were only just surpassed by Calvin Johnson (88.3).
From his profile on the Mothership:
Associated Press All-Pro First Team (2008, 2009)
Associated Press All-Pro Second Team (2012)
Six-time Pro Bowl selection (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)
NFL Alumni Wide Receiver of the Year (2006, 2008, 2009)
Pro Football Weekly First-Team All-Pro (2008, 2009)
Sporting News All-Pro (2010)
SportsIllustrated.com All-Pro (2008)
Touchdown Club Player of the Year (2004, 2006)
Houston Texans Team MVP (2006, 2008, 2009)
ESPN.com All-Pro (2008)
AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 2, 2010; Week 4, 2006)
AFC Offensive Player of the Month (October, 2008; November 2012)
NFL Rookie of the Week (Week 4, 2003; Week 10, 2003)
When evaluating Hall of Fame hopefuls, the question of Was he ever the best among his peers? often arises. In this case, we can answer with a resounding Are you kidding? But there are reasons to doubt his chances to be inducted in a timely manner.
|Rank||Player (age), + - HOFer, Bold - Active||TD||Years||Teams|
|6.||Tony Gonzalez (36)||107||1997-2013||2TM|
|13.||Antonio Gates (32)||86||2003-2013||sdg|
As of this writing, Andre has 61 touchdowns, good for 66th all-time. Not good enough. If gunslinging Case Keenum can top him off with 10 this year, and Andre averages 7 touchdowns per season for three years hence, he'd finish with around 87... putting him just outside the top 10 on the all-time list. It's more likely that he'll finish in the Top 20 or 30, however, and his other achievements will have to outweigh this gap in his credentials.
The biggest elephant in the room regarding Andre's career is his lack of exposure in the playoffs. The Texans have played in just four postseason games, and while his 25 receptions and 358 yards are nice over that time span, Hall of Fame voters might not take too kindly to this...especially with players like Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce still waiting for eligibility. Even a conference championship appearance would do wonders for his chances. Him getting there is a whole other topic, though.
The Eye Test
Ultimately, I find it hard to believe that voters will look at Johnson's tape and highlights and say, "Yeah, that guy's not a Hall of Famer." He simply passes any eye test you wanna give him, whether you're 20/20 or Mr. Magoo. I think it's not IF but WHEN he'll be enshrined in Canton. I'll leave you with a nice compilation of his best catches, not including this year.
Taking a look at the numbers, it seems the big lug has a pretty good chance of one day unveiling a bronze bust of himself in front of an adoring crowd. Thankfully, he still has plenty of time to solidify his bid. Pretty soon the only thing he'll have to worry about is writing his acceptance speech and deciding how many paragraphs to devote to the man who MADE HIS CAREER: Matt "Pro Bowl MVP" Schaub.
Let me hear your thoughts below. Drop any other stats supporting or refuting Andre's Hall of Fame bid. Happy Thursday.