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Andre Johnson Blasts Texans - But Hopes Watson Stays

Houston Texans legend Andre Johnson spoke to former NFL wide receiver Harry Douglas about Deshaun Watson, the Texans, and the issues at the top.

Back in early January, fans and the media alike were stunned when former Houston Texans All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson spoke out against the franchise on Twitter in support of wantaway quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Having returned to his usual media silence since, Johnson has now spoken publically on the matter, appearing on 'The HD Connection' with 10-year NFL veteran Harry Douglas. 

When asked about his tweet, Johnson revealed that these issues within the franchise run far deeper than perhaps most realized.

"I've been around this organization for a long time, and you know I worked there last season, and it's just certain things you see .... "certain things you see that you know that's not right," said Johnson.

READ MORE: Panthers Would Trade RB McCaffery & 3 First-Round Picks For Texans QB Deshaun - Report

"For the caliber of player that Deshaun is, I wouldn't want Deshaun to try and go through that. And I went through those things myself with the organization, and I did that for 12  years. ‘Cause sometimes people (say), 'What do you wish you could change different about your career?' And I always tell them I wish I was a little more selfish and not always being just a team guy. Because things that you want the organization to do, they're not always going to do it, but I think sometimes the organization don't listen to what you have to say.

“Us as players, we're in the locker room every day, we know what goes on with this team, so we're not telling you things to take over your organization, we're just trying to do things to help. And I think sometimes top people in the organization, they just don't listen to players. And that's something that I felt like I had to deal with a lot when I was here."

We can only speculate as to whom exactly Johnson was referring to when he says 'top people' but it doesn't seem a stretch to believe that one of said people was the late founder of the franchise Bob McNair. 

The reason being, back in 2017 he was heavily criticized for a statement he made at an NFL owners meeting in reference to players not standing for the national anthem, stating "We can't have the inmates running the prison."

If this statement is any indication of how others at the 'top' feel about players speaking their minds, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise if Johnson felt relatively ignored during his tenure in Houston. ... Something Watson is clearly battling this offseason, which Johnson does not want to see happen again.

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"For him to be told that he was gonna be involved in the coaching hire and the GM hire, and not receive a call, that's BS to me." said Johnson. "This is your franchise quarterback, how can you not involve him in it?"

"Football now is not like how it used to be when we first came into the league, where the players really couldn't say too much or think like that. ... We have a voice now. And that's just what it is. They may not like it, but that's just what it is, because they're taking a stance for what they want ...

 "But sometimes it makes you feel like the team doesn't have your best interests and like I said I just don't want to see Deshaun go through what I went through."

Douglas went on to point out that the fact that the four biggest names in the franchise's history, namely Johnson, Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and J.J. Watt have all had their issues with the organization. And while hesitant to divulge the details, Johnson was honest yet again.

READ MORE: Is Texans Ex J.J. Watt 'Serious' About The Browns?

"There's a lot of things I could dive into," said Johnson. 

"It becomes frustrating" ... "There's so much air you can blow in a balloon before it busts. Me now being on the outside looking in, it's just like 'I'm not fixing to let these guys go through this.' I've experienced this and that stuff can really take a toll on you as a player. So you giving yourself to this organization, you doing everything you can, and I hear people always say 'well you signed the contract,' yeah I signed the contract because I earned the contract. If I didn't do anything I wouldn't get paid" .... "So what? You would've signed the contract too if they gave you one-hundred and whatever million, you would've signed it too. And at the end of the day, that's our security. We don't have guaranteed contracts, we've got to get the most guaranteed money we can in the time we can."

Despite his frustrations with the team, Johnson did go on to point out that he still wants the Texans to succeed and wants Watson to be a part of this success. If, and only if, that is in Watson's best interests.

Said Johnson. “Do I really want Deshaun to leave Houston? No. Because I want to see the organization do well. But at the end of the day, I want him to do what's best for him and if not being here is best for him then he don't need to be here."