HOUSTON — When the late Bob McNair introduced the Houston Texans in September 2000, he did so with the idea of having a franchise that could leave a mark on NFL history. Thursday night, the Texans took a step forward in McNair's vision.
Former All Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson secured his place as the Texans’ first Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
Johnson said his induction meant "everything" to him personally. And when he takes his rightful place in Canton as part of the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class in August, Johnson's induction will also be a special moment for the McNairs.
"I’m so proud of Andre, who has always been a Hall of Fame person, friend, father and son in our eyes," Texans co-founder and senior chair Janice McNair said. "We are honored to have been a part of his journey and I know Bob would be overjoyed. Andre is receiving this special, well-deserved recognition."
Janice described Johnson as a "once-in-a-generation player," and her description of the former seven-time Pro Bowler is accurate.
The McNairs welcomed Johnson to Houston with the No. 3 pick of the 2003 NFL Draft from the University of Miami. Fourteen years later, the McNairs made Johnson their inaugural member of the Texans’ Ring of Honor in 2017.
In 2006, Johnson led the league in catches with 103 and finished his career with five seasons of 100 or more receptions — more than any member enshrined — according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He finished his career ranked 11th all-time for most receiving yards with 14,185. In 2009, while leading the Texans to their first winning season with a 9-7 record, he became the second player in history to lead the NFL in receiving yards in back-to-back seasons. Jerry Rice was the first in 1990, while Calvin Johnson achieved the feat in 2012.
"I can’t think of anyone more deserving to be the Texans’ first Hall of Fame inductee than Andre Johnson," Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair said. "Every time he took the field, we knew he was bringing an incomparable passion and intensity that was a joy to watch.
"His impact across our community is immeasurable, and we are thrilled he has secured his rightful place in NFL history forever. Andre will always be a Texan and now, he is officially a Hall of Famer."