Andre Johnson belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, the Texans wide receiver won't go in with the 2022 class. It was his first year on the ballot and he was one of the 15 finalists. But his name wasn't included last night at the 2022 NFL Honors when this year's class was announced.
The eight who will go in are all worthy and excellent choices. They deserve it, but Johnson does as well and anyone who watched him, played with or against him or coached him or against him wouldn't hesitate in saying he belongs in Canton.
Playing for an expansion team, and only being part of two playoff squads is what ultimately kept him out this year. 49 people vote, with 32 coming from a city with an NFL team. New York and Los Angeles, because each has a pair of NFL franchises, have two selectors each. 17 other voters are 'at-large' and they're "active members of the media or persons intricately involved in professional football, including one representative of the Pro Football Writers of America." For the bulk of his career, Johnson and the Texans played noon games that weren't in the spotlight of the national media. That's the bottom line: there weren't enough eyeballs on him, even though he was typically the best player on the field in those contests.
Ask his former teammates or guys who lined up against him. They'll laugh and immediately say 'yes' whenever anyone asks if Johnson is a Hall of Famer.
Ask the broadcasters who called Texans games and had to do research and prepare for those contests. Gus Johnson, who handles play-by-play for NFL and college games for FOX, and was frequently on the call for Texans games on CBS years ago, put it perfectly when talking about the Texans legend.
"Andre Johnson, of course, is Zeus," the broadcaster said of the football player. "It's just an honor and a privilege to watch somebody that is that good go out and play football."
Texans General Manager Nick Caserio spent 20 years in the New England organization and was quick to praise Johnson's greatness as well.
"He was a pain in the ass to defend," Caserio said. "There's no question about it. He's big. He's strong. He's fast. He could break tackles. He could make contested catches. Every time you played the Houston Texans, if you didn't take care of Andre Johnson, it was probably going to be a long day."
It's a bummer Johnson didn't get in this year, but it will happen.
And anyone who watched him, whether they were a player, coach, broadcaster or fan, knows: Andre Johnson belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.