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Former Hurricanes standout Andre Johnson becomes a free agent

Former Hurricanes standout Andre Johnson becomes a free agent
Andre Johnson has led the Texans in receiving in 10 of his 12 seasons with the team. (Pat Sullivan / Associated Press)

Andre Johnson's 12-year career with the Houston Texans is over.

The former University of Miami standout was released on Monday as part of a cost-cutting measure aimed at clearing $8.8 million in cap space for the Texans.

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The Texans hoped to trade Johnson to a receiver starved team but couldn't find any takers because of his $11.5 million salary for the 2015 season, which featured a $1 million roster bonus.

That means Johnson, who has tallied 13,597 receiving yards and scored 64 touchdowns during his NFL career, immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent. Johnson can sign with any NFL team before Tuesday's 4 p.m. start of free agency.

Johnson, who will turn 35 this season, caught 85 passes for 936 yards in the 15 games he played last season, but he only scored three touchdowns for the Texans, which had a rotating door at quarterback most of 2014.

Johnson will likely try to latch onto an NFL team that features an upper echelon quarterback with the hopes of finishing his accomplished career with a contender.

The Dolphins could use a big possession receiver like Johnson, a Miami High produce who sources say would welcome a South Florida homecoming, especially after releasing Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson earlier this offseason to create cap space.

The Dolphins have been active this offseason, landing elite defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, but haven't addressed the receiver position yet. But free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Dolphins' receiver unit presently features Mike Wallace, who like Johnson was put on the trading block this offseason, Jarvis Landry, a 2014 second-round pick who set franchise records for rookie receivers last year, and Rishard Matthews, who has caught 64 passes for 734 yards and four touchdowns in his previous three season.

Johnson's 6-foot-3, 230 pound frame would provide the offense the big red zone target Miami's missing, but his age could prevent them from getting involved in the bidding process.

Johnson isn't the only former Hurricanes receiver presently available on the free agent market. Reggie Wayne has played his final game in Indianapolis and is shopping for another team. And Santana Moss and Leonard Hankerson, who recently played for Washington, are both unrestricted free agents.

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