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Andre Johnson’s Stay in Tennessee Could Hurt his Chances at Canton



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After entering his third AFC South team in three years, fifteen-year veteran receiver Andre Johnson will try to make amends for the disaster that he displayed as a one-year member of the Indianapolis Colts. As the outlet for Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck, Johnson caught a pathetic forty-one passes for 503 yards and four touchdowns on seventy-seven targets. None of this was a surprise after Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told him that he would play no more than 40 percent of the team’s snaps before 2015.

By making the worst of his opportunity with a team that set its sights for a Super Bowl last year, his services were ignored until the one with the fewest wins signed him, the Tennessee Titans.

Despite being eighth all-time in receptions (1,053) and ninth all-time in receiving yards (14,100), he has only caught sixty-eight career touchdown passes. Even though he was always known for carrying himself well and thus received more adulation than Terrell Owens, Johnson might be hurting his chances at Hall of Fame enshrinement as former wide receivers like Owens already have a hard time getting in.

The majority of us believes that Owens deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of his outstanding numbers, six Pro Bowls, and five All-Pro First Team recognitions. Unfortunately, with his selfishness and him being on four teams in his last six-and-a-half years being used against him, the latter issue could be used against Johnson, especially as he statistically ranks lower than Owens.

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Of course, the devil’s advocate in Johnson supporters will say that he carried himself exceptionally well and, therefore, will have no problem getting in. But that has not helped Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. Plus, alleged non-divas like Marvin Harrison, Andre Reed, and Art Monk had to take back seats before their enshrinements.

Finally, with no Super Bowl rings or appearances in his résumé, no one can circle Johnson as an automatic, mainly when champions like Harrison, Michael Irvin, and Jerry Rice were enshrined in one to three years while Johnson has only been to the playoffs twice.

No one agrees with the Hall of Fame writers’ ways of voting, particularly as players like Harrison, Owens, and Cris Carter have had to be kept off for far too long. But when the writers are a contingent of geezers that never change and stay entrenched in their stupid ways, you will have to expect the worst for Johnson with the tail end of his career making him nowhere near the celebrated receiver that the aforementioned three were.

Nonetheless, Johnson could always turn things around in Nashville as he plays alongside Delanie Walker and Kendall Wright and works with a quarterback with a passer rating above 90.0, Marcus Mariota. Sadly, no evidence based on what was written earlier will deem him a first-ballot entry into the Hall.

Much has to be determined as Johnson’s eligibility takes place five years after his last game, and realistic hopes for Johnson will skyrocket once many of the writers might be too feeble to get past security or die because of old age. Most importantly, Johnson has to make the Titans’ squad. If an aging veteran with diminished skills cannot convince coaches that his experience triumphs the spring of his younger peers, there is no storybook ending to write as the ending will have already been written.