Extension makes Johnson "a Texan for life"

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The Texans signed four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson to a contract extension through the 2016 season on Thursday. The move, as general manager Rick Smith put it, essentially makes Johnson "a Texan for life."

Smith did not disclose contract terms, but John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that the extension makes Johnson the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL with an average salary of $10.5 million per year.

Johnson previously was under contract through 2014 after signing an eight-year extension in 2007. Normally, that would make re-negotiation out of the question. The Texans were willing to make an exception for Johnson, who is one of two players in NFL history along with Jerry Rice to lead the league in receiving yards in back-to-back seasons.

"Andre is in a class by himself," Texans owner Bob McNair said. "It's important to us that Andre have one home, and that's with the Texans. He's a future Hall of Famer and will probably be our first Hall of Fame player, and we wanted to make sure that he went in as a Texan."

On the first day of training camp last Friday, McNair said that he wanted to get a new deal done with Johnson within two weeks. Six days later, Smith and vice president of football administration Chris Olsen finalized the extension with Johnson's agent, Kennard McGuire.

"With having five years left on my contact, for them to do something like this for me and my family, I don't think words can really describe it," Johnson said. "All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart… I'm very happy that we were able to get everything settled and I can move forward with football."

{QUOTE}The third overall pick out of Miami (Fla.) in 2003, Johnson joined the Texans one season after the franchise began play in 2002. He has led the team in receiving yards in each of his seven seasons and holds 14 different team records.

"To be able to play for the Houston Texans for the rest of my career, it's a tremendous honor," he said. "I always said I wanted to be a part of something special, and I knew that coming to a new organization that things were going to be a little rough in the beginning. Now, I feel like things are taking that turn for us, so I'm very excited for this upcoming season. I know the fans are excited, the whole city of Houston's excited. We're going to give them something this year to be excited about."

Johnson, 29, said that his new contract will not change the way he approaches the game.

"I do know where this organization wants to be and I know where I want the organization to be, and if it's up to me, I'll tote it on my back to hopefully be playing in Cowboys Stadium (site of Super Bowl XLV) at the end of this season," he said. "When you watch me play on Sundays, you're going to see all that I have. I'm going to lay it all on the line, so that's what you can expect from me."

Follow Nick Scurfield on Twitter at *twitter.com/NickScurfield or find him on the "I'm A Texan Club" at imatexan.com/profiles/Nick_Scurf/.*

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