HOUSTON -- Andre Johnson, the first-round draft pick of the Houston Texans, honored a promise that he would be at training camp on time when he signed a six-year contract worth almost $39 million on Tuesday.
The wide receiver from Miami was the third player chosen in the NFL draft in April. He will get a $13.51 million signing bonus and will report to training camp at the Texans' home facility on Friday.
"I've seen some of my former teammates in college that held out and didn't get into camp on time and I didn't want to follow suit," Johnson said. "If you're not in camp on time you tend to miss out on a lot. I didn't want to miss anything. I wanted to be here on time and hopefully make it to that big goal, the Super Bowl."
General manager Charley Casserly was delighted that he got the Texans' first pick into camp on time for the second straight year. Quarterback David Carr, the first pick in last year's draft, also was on time and played every down in the Texan's inaugural season.
"I've been through some holdouts," Casserly said. "I've been through some that ruined careers, some that resulted in players being injured in training camp. And I've been through some others where a rookie went to the Pro Bowl because he was in camp on time."
Johnson will join last year's starters, Corey Bradford and Jabar Gaffney, as the Texans try to improve their receiving, which ranked last in the NFL last season. He participated in the Texans' minicamps before signing.
Johnson caught 92 passes for 1,831 yards and 20 touchdowns and played in two national championship games for Miami. He finished fifth on Miami's all-time list and had 11 receptions for 253 yards in two bowl games.
Only Michael Irvin (26) and Lamar Thomas (23) have more career touchdowns at Miami than Johnson.
In the 2001 national championship game, Johnson caught seven passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns and shared Rose Bowl MVP honors with quarterback Ken Dorsey as the Hurricanes beat Nebraska 37-14.
Texans coach Dom Capers expects Johnson's early work to help him make the adjustment to the pros.
"I think back to the first meeting we had with Andre, his uncle Andre Milton and his mother Karen and as we left there, Andre Milton said, 'If you decided to take Andre he won't be late getting into training camp,"' Capers said.
"You can't underestimate with a young player being in camp from Day One. There are so many things you have to deal with from a mental standpoint and getting ready to play."
The Associated Press News Service
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