Andre Johnson called Tennessee Coach Mike Mularkey, asking if they could talk Monday morning. After 14 N.F.L. seasons, Johnson, the receiver with more catches than any other active player, had made up his mind: time to retire.
“He said he’s been contemplating it for weeks and his heart was not in it,” Mularkey said. “This is a tough business to be in when your heart’s not in it.”
Johnson, 35, was nowhere to be found on Monday, apparently not ready to publicly discuss his decision. He did not release a statement through his agent or the team.
That did not prevent Mularkey from trying to talk Johnson into staying. The Titans had signed Johnson to a two-year deal the day they reported for training camp, paying him the veteran minimum for this season with the prospect of a bigger payday in 2017. Johnson started four of the eight games he played this season but had not caught a pass in the last three.