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The star wide receiver announced Wednesday he's joined the Indianapolis Colts. Per multiple reports, it’s a three-year, $21 million deal.
The team has confirmed the move -- which only seems like a surprise in light of the previous reporting suggesting that Johnson was in no rush to find his next destination. But the Colts seem to make sense on multiple levels -- and it's hardly bad news for fantasy football owners.
For starters, Johnson joins a team that looks like an annual playoff contender -- thanks in part to an outstanding young quarterback in Andrew Luck.
After playing alongside and posting impressive totals with what I'll kindly characterize as an array of less-than-effective quarterbacks -- a list that includes Matt Schaub, David Carr, Sage Rosenfels, Tony Banks, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum and Tom Savage (the last four all last season), the opportunity to team up Luck had to be a huge factor in his decision.
Johnson will now be playing with arguably the best young signal caller in the league.
Plus, Johnson has connections to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and assistant Rob Chudzinski from their time at the University of Miami. The presence of Gore, who signed with the team Tuesday, only adds to that.
But most of all, the Colts give Johnson an opportunity to go up against his former team, the Texans, twice a year for as long as Johnson remains in Indy.
Johnson, a seven-time Pro Bowler, was released by the Texans on Monday. Last season he caught 85 passes for 936 yards and three touchdowns. He left Houston as the all-time franchise leader in receptions (1,012), receiving yards (13,597) and receiving touchdowns (64).
The instant analysis suggests that Johnson will replace Reggie Wayne, who will be plying his trade elsewhere if he decides to play at all in 2015, in the starting lineup opposite T.Y. Hilton with Donte Moncrief relegated to the No. 3 spot over Hakeem Nicks, who signed a one-year "prove it" deal with Indianapolis before the 2014 season.
He wound up catching 38 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns.
Was that good enough to get a longer-term deal with the Colts?
He came up with some big catches late in the season and in the playoffs, but Johnson's arrival probably means Nicks is moving on. ...
One last note on this one. ... According to SDUT's Michael Gehlken, the Chargers were hoping to land Johnson. "They were all in," a source told Gehlken. "Close as you can get."
In fact, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Chargers offered Johnson more money than he got with the Colts.