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Deal makes Texans' Johnson highest-paid WR in NFL

Extended deal could average $10.5 million over the next 7 years

By JOHN McCLAIN
Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle

"Andre Johnson's new contract with the Texans will make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL.

Johnson received a two-year extension worth $38.5 million, including $13 million guaranteed. Counting the five years and $35 million he had left on his old contract, his deal is worth seven years and $73.5 million — an average of $10.5 million a year.

The extension means Johnson will be with the Texans through the 2016 season.

"This will make him a Texan for life," Texans general manager Rick Smith said.

The contract also has incentive bonuses and built-in escalators that can make it even more valuable.

"It feels great; I can't complain," Johnson said about being the highest-paid receiver in the league. "I want to thank the organization. I don't know what to say other than thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank my teammates. I'm very happy right now."

Owner Bob McNair said on the first day of training camp he thought the deal would be completed within two weeks. It didn't take Smith, vice president of football administration Chris Olsen and agent Kennard McGuire that long to finish.

"It's important that Andre have one home — and that's with the Houston Texans," McNair said. "He will probably be our first Hall of Fame player. We wanted to make sure he went in as a Texan and he played his career as a Texan. Hopefully he will retire as a Texan."

Johnson hired McGuire to handle the negotiations.

"I left my agent handle everything," Johnson said. "I want to thank Mr. McNair, too, for doing this for me. It couldn't have gone better."

McGuire also negotiated receiver Brandon Marshall's new deal with Miami — five years, $50 million, McGuire said.

"Kennard's one of the best agents in the business," Smith said. "He and I have a good relationship. This contract means Andre will finish his career with the Texans. We feel like he's in a class of his own. I know this sets a precedent, and if another player comes to my office wanting to (renegotiate), I'll tell him to get some pelts on the wall like Andre, and we'll talk." "