"Everything I did on that field was because of you," Johnson said at his news conference. "A lot of people don't know, but I played the game of football very angry. And the reason I played that way was just because of where I grew up. I just never wanted to go back to living that lifestyle again. So seeing the sacrifices you made - I remember you'd fallen asleep coming to pick me up from night school. It was just tough times that we experienced as a family that I never wanted to experience again. So I'm very thankful to you for that."
The seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver continued to show his softer side when he thanked his uncle Andre, whom he called his father figure.
"Ever since I was a little kid, I had no man figure to go to and you've been there with me every step of the way," Johnson said, referring to his uncle. "I thank you for your advice. I thank you for your love. Even at times when I felt like I had nobody to talk to, I could always call you. So I'm very thankful to you for that. And I love you."
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Johnson played 12 seasons in Houston and is the franchise's leading receiver with 13,597 yards. He went on to play one season for the Indianapolis Colts in 2015 and a half-season for the Tennessee Titans last year before retiring. He signed a one-day contract with Houston to formally retire as a member of the Texans.
"The only regret I have is not bringing this organization a championship," Johnson told reporters.
The Texans put together a tribute video of Johnson and his career, and #80 took one last team photo with his teammates.
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