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Andre Johnson granted permission to seek trade

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It appears Andre Johnson and the Houston Texans have reached the end of the road.

NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Monday that the star wide receiver has been granted permission to seek a trade. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that a source close to Johnson said this was "definitely" the end for the wide receiver in Houston.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle had the first report.

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The surprising development came after the Texans told Johnson he would have a reduced role in the offense in 2015. Johnson subsequently requested a trade or his release. McClain reports that if a trade partner does not materialize, the Texans will release their all-time leading receiver.

Johnson, an active member in the Houston community, posted a goodbye message to Texans fans on his Instagram account late Monday.

"Thank you Houston for a wonderful 12 years," Johnson wrote. "And a special thanks to all the fans who have supported me throughout my career."

His agent, Kennard McGuire, also released a statement: "It's been an amazing journey for Andre -- and to watch how the city of Houston has embraced him and watch him become the class act that personified true professionalism."

Johnson, 33, has spent his entire career in Houston after being selected with the third overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection is the franchise leader in every relevant receiving category and stands a legitimate chance to earn enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his career is done.

The Texans' decision to downgrade his role comes on the heels of a season in which Johnson showed signs of slowing down. Johnson started 15 games and had 85 catches for 936 yards and three touchdowns, but it was clear DeAndre Hopkins had emerged as the team's most dangerous receiving threat.

If a trade cannot be completed -- there are two years and $21.5 million remaining on his contract -- Johnson will become an intriguing free-agent option. Approaching his age-34 season, it's possible that Johnson can command a deal similar to the three-year, $12 million deal Steve Smith got last year from the Ravens.

Johnson will get a job, and consider it a surprise if he doesn't land with an expected Super Bowl contender. A ring is the one thing missing from an otherwise stellar resume.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the annual "Top 101 free agents" list and discusses the latest in league news. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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