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Andre Johnson released by Houston Texans

Andre Johnson and the Houston Texans are officially no more.

The Texans released Johnson on Monday, ending his 12-year run in Houston. Johnson is now eligible to sign with any team.

The Texans granted Johnson the right to seek a trade after the receiver was told he'd have a greatly reduced role in the Texans' offense if he remained with the team in 2015. Johnson told the Houston Chronicle he "just laughed" when Texans coach Bill O'Brien explained last week that he shouldn't expect to catch more than about 40 passes in 2015.

Johnson still had two years and $21.5 million remaining on his deal, making a trade prohibitive. He is ranked 20th on Around The NFL's Top 101 Free Agents list.

Johnson ends his Texans career as the greatest offensive player in franchise history. The third overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, Johnson is the team record holder in every relevant receiving category and stands a good chance of being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame when his playing days end.

Johnson will turn 34 in July and showed signs of regression last season. Despite finishing with 85 receptions, he averaged just 11 yards per catch and had three touchdowns despite a generous number of targets in the red zone.

Still, Johnson can bring value to a contender and should have no shortage of suitors on the open market. Johnson will always be remembered as a Texan, but he still has the juice to build his legacy somewhere else.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast analyzes early free agency news, including Ndamukong Suh to Miami, Devin McCourty's new deal and much more. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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