Bryant Johnson, the 17th overall pick in 2003 by the Arizona Cardinals, played in all 16 games last season for the Texans and was re-signed by the team, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
The 6-3, 212-pound wide out was a standout at Penn State, but never became a star player at the next level.
In five seasons with the Cardinals, Bryant never caught fewer than 35 passes or exceeded 49 catches in a single-season. He also chalked up between 432 and 740 receiving yards and between one to four scores each year.
Bryant, 31, moved onto San Francisco in 2008, where he accumulated 45 receptions for 546 yards and three touchdowns and started the most games of his career in a single-season that year (12), before starting all 16 games the following season with the Detroit Lions.
However, his numbers went down, as he tied for his lowest number of receptions (35) he set in his rookie campaign with just 417 yards and 3 TDs. In 2010, he capped off his two-year stint with the Lions, where he made 18 catches for 210 yards in seven starts (14 games).
And last season was the worst of his career on the stats sheet, as Bryant Johnson managed just six receptions for 90 yards and a score.
He’s had just 24 receptions for 300 yards and a score over the last two years and he still beat out Roy Williams for the job.
The former seventh overall selection by the Lions (2004) racked up 54 catches for 817 yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie season and followed it up with 45 catches for 687 yards and eight scores in his second season, combining for 27 games and 23 starts.
In his third year, he started in every game and unleashed his full potential, racking up 82 receptions for 1,310 yards and seven touchdowns. 2007 was his last full-season in Detroit and it wasn’t too shabby (64 catches for 838 yards and five scores).
However, 2008 was another story. Williams was traded by Detroit (along with a seventh-round pick) to Dallas in exchange for a first, third and sixth-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.
He had played in five games (four starts) with Detroit, where he collected 17 receptions for 232 yards and a score and appeared in 10 games (seven starts) in Dallas that season, where he caught 19 passes for 198 yards and a score for a total of 36 catches for 432 yards and two touchdowns.
Williams, 30, made 38 catches for 596 yards and seven scores in 15 games (13 starts) in 2009. In 2010, his numbers were reduced to 37 catches for 530 yards and five scores in 15 games (nine starts).
And after getting cut by Dallas and quickly signed by the Bears, Williams collected 37 catches for 507 yards and two touchdowns in 2011 for Chicago. And now the 6-3, 215-pound wide out is hoping to get a deal from any of the 29 other teams in the league.
(Well, now 28 teams, since we can presumably rule out the Texans.) And there are a number of other teams that won’t show any interest. There’s always a team out there though that could use the help and wouldn’t mind taking the risk….for the veteran minimum.
It says something that the team would be willing to bring back Johnson over taking a chance on Williams. Not only does it suggest negative things about Williams, but it also indicates the Texans are looking to add a little more gray into their young receiving corps.
With Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter set as the top two receivers heading into the upcoming season, the team was cognizant on finding a veteran already equipped with experience in the offense. Johnson fits the bill and could help 2012 third-round selections DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin, along with Lestar Jean, each of whom Houston has high hopes for in the future.
John McClain also reports that the Texans have signed linebacker Keyaron Fox as a free agent. Fox, a former third-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs (2004), had 10 tackles and played in 13 games for the Washington Redskins last season. Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com also notes that Fox had also been a key contributor for the Pittsburgh Steelers on special teams and that would be his role in Houston if he makes the team.
Verse of This Piece: “Doing right brings freedom to honest people, but those who are not trustworthy will be caught in their own desires.” —Proverbs 11:6