Andre Johnson gave us all quite a bit to be concerned about as he was absent from organized team activities (OTAs) and the mandatory mini-camp earlier this year, but all of that is easily forgotten as he officially checked into training camp today to thunderous applause from his teammates.
Andre met with the media for a brief press-conference at the Methodist Training Center, and you can see that video HERE on NFL.com.
For those of you who prefer to read the text version, and consolidated reports from various media sources, read on with a smile as bleach sales plummet all over Houston...
When asked point blank if he wanted to finish his career in a Texans uniform, Johnson replied, "That’s my plan."
But entering his 12th NFL season Johnson is well aware that plans can change.
"At the same time it’s a business." Johnson said. "Nobody never thought (sic) Jerry Rice would wear another uniform. There’s a lot of guys that played this game that you never thought you’d see them in another uniform but it ended up happening. So, a lot of times you have no control over that."
Johnson had multiple conversations with the front office and Bill O’Brien, which he said left him ‘comfortable’ with the direction of the organization.
"If everything works out, in a perfect world I hope this is the only place that I play." Johnson said.
Johnson has two more years on his contract after the 2014 season.
Johnson actually passed his physical a few days ago, a source informed of the situation tells Rapoport. He's ready to go after missing the entirety of offseason practices.
"I just love playing the game of football," Johnson told reporters Friday. "It's my job to make up for the time that I missed. I'm gonna work my butt off, like I always do."
Key among the issues that led Johnson to show up were the rapport he built with coach Bill O'Brien and the new staff. The organization learned Thursday that Johnson would show up, but didn't fully believe it until he arrived today.
Rapoport reported that there were no monetary promises to get Johnson to show up, which indicates he was not paid his $1 million bonus that he missed out on by not taking part in OTAs.
Johnson also received assurances about his own future in Houston relating to 2015, Rapoport reported, per a source briefed on those meetings. It was one of Johnson's desires to retire a member of the organization.
"I feel very comfortable in where the organization is going," Johnson said.
Despite his unhappiness about the organization's refusal to pay his workout bonus, Johnson must have realized that reporting to camp was his best option.
The Texans were not going to trade him, which left the 33-year-old with no leverage unless he was willing to walk away from $10 million and a chance to bolster his Hall of Fame résumé.
Wrapping things up from The Mothership, Drew Dougherty of houstontexans.com reported:
"I just love playing the game of football," Johnson said. "I'm going to play football. I don't plan on walking away from this."
Johnson said he'd had a "good dialogue" throughout the last seven months with new head coach Bill O'Brien. He also said he thinks his role in the offense will be "fun".
We can now all breath a collective sigh of relief, and enter the weekend with at least one positive reason to celebrate. Be sure to check in here tomorrow for any news on the Texans' first day of training camp. May you all have a wonderful evening and a great weekend! Go Texans!!