Ever since the news broke on Monday night that Andre Johnson had (likely) played his last game as member of the Houston Texans, those of us who follow the team have been trying to come to grips with the idea of the greatest player in franchise history playing somewhere else. The most cited reason justifying the team's decision to part ways with 'Dre has been his cap figure versus his production. But Andre Johnson did catch 85 balls last year. That's nothing to sneeze at, and at first glance, especially with the Texans' current wide receiver group, would seem to be awfully hard to replace.
Perhaps the pure counting stats, such as the number of receptions a player has, don't tell the whole story. In his latest article, Rivers McCown suggests that 'Dre wasn't as effective as his reception tally might suggest:
On an advanced statistical level, Johnson was one of the worst wideouts in the league last season. Johnson finished second to last among all qualifying receivers in Football Outsiders' DYAR. He was merely 81st in DVOA.
In a different article titled "Getting Rid of Andre Johnson Is a Smart Move for Houston Texans," NumberFire's JJ Zachariason cited a different data set called "Net Expected Points" that indicates jettisoning 'Dre is a sound move, concluding:
[Cutting Andre Johnson is] the wise thing to do. Johnson's been a volume receiver over the course of his fantastic career, and while taking on a lot of volume can make up for a lack of efficiency, his effectiveness with each target has dipped so dramatically of late that he's become far less important than in year's past. He's just not worth it.
Heresy? Or sound logic that makes you feel better about a future without No. 80 lining up wide?