The decision came after the Texans found no trade partners for him, Dianna Marie Russini of NBC4 Washington reports.
Johnson is scheduled to make $11.5 million next season and the team will save $8.825 million in salary cap space by releasing him.
The 33-year-old had two years remaining on his contract and a salary cap number of $16.1 million for 2015.
Johnson caught 85 passes for 936 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Texans. His 1,012 career receptions and 13,597 receiving yards are second among all active receivers, behind former Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne.
The Houston Chronicle reported last week that Johnson asked for a trade or to be cut after being told that his role next season would be reduced.
“It’s business,” Johnson told the paper. “I understand that side of it. I’m not angry about it. I knew at some point in time this day would come.
“If we were living in a perfect world, you know I’d want to finish my career here, but, unfortunately, that’s not what’s going to happen. You just have to move forward.”
- Scooby Axson