Loyal WRs like Johnson haven't had it easy


HOUSTON -- Andre Johnson often talks about what he's been through with this franchise.

He played for some bad Houston Texans teams. He stayed with the organization, rather than looking elsewhere, and was compensated well for his loyalty. But losing isn't fun for anyone. And Johnson is not alone: some of the best receivers in the game haven’t seen wins come with loyalty to their teams.

In the 10-plus seasons since drafting Johnson in the first round, the Texans have gone 75-92, according to ESPN Stats & Information's Evan Kaplan. I asked him to help me look into the records of teams after drafting nine talented receivers: Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, Johnson, Panthers receiver Steve Smith, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Falcons receiver Roddy White, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, Saints receiver Marques Colston, Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson.

Those players are the top nine in career receiving yards among active wide receivers who have stayed with one franchise their entire career. Eight of them rank in the top 20 in receiving yards among all active players, but I included Jackson because he ranked 22nd and has missed some time with injuries.


Only four of the teams have a winning record since drafting their star receiver -- the Colts since drafting Wayne, the Falcons since drafting White, the Saints since drafting Colston and the Eagles (just barely) since drafting Jackson. The rest have offered solid production for their teams, but wins haven't followed.

Four of them -- Fitzgerald, Wayne, Colston and Smith -- have played in a Super Bowl. Only Wayne and Colston are Super Bowl champions.