The Latest from Priority Sports
The Latest from Priority Sports
After he rushed for 1,616 yards and scored 18 touchdowns in his first season as a starter, Arian Foster was told by the Texans if he could do it again in 2011, they would reward him with a multimillion-dollar contract.
Foster did his part last season with 1,224 yards, 53 receptions and 12 touchdowns in the regular season. He added 285 yards rushing and three touchdowns in two playoff games.
The Texans did their part Monday, when Foster agreed to a five-year, $43.5 million contract that includes $20.75 million guaranteed, a $12.5 million signing bonus and $30 million in the first three years.
Foster, who turns 26 in August, made $525,000 last season and was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second time.
“I’m very happy for Arian,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “Obviously, I’m very happy for us, too.
“This is well-deserved. Arian has worked so hard to get to this point. He played at the minimum (salary), and he handled the situation the right way. He’s been very, very productive, and I’m glad he was rewarded.”
Last week, Foster underwent routine arthroscopic surgery to clean out loose particles from his knee. He passed his physical and will sign his contract today.
Beginning this year, Foster’s base salaries are $5 million (guaranteed), $5.25 million ($3.25 million guaranteed), $5.75 million, $6 million and $6.5 million.
On top of those bases, Foster will earn $31,250 for each game he plays, up to $500,000 per season and $2.5 million over the life of the contract.
General manager Rick Smith and vice president of football administration Chris Olsen negotiated the deal with agent Mike McCartney.
Without the new contract, Foster would have been a restricted free agent, or the Texans could have used the franchise tag on him, giving him $7.7 million this year.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Rick and Chris for getting this done,” McCartney said. “Rick and I had kept up a good dialogue for the last two years. Then we started in earnest after the combine. We put our egos aside, and over the weekend, we got within striking distance.
“As you can imagine, Arian is thrilled. He never talked about his contract. He handled it in a first-class way. I think the Texans made it a priority to reward that. Arian loves Houston and the team. He didn’t want to leave.”
The Texans also extended the contract of snapper Jon Weeks. His four-year deal is for $2.9 million and includes a $255,000 signing bonus.
Smith and Olsen are continuing to negotiate with the agents for outside linebacker Mario Williams, center Chris Myers, right guard Mike Brisiel and tight end Joel Dreessen.
The Texans didn’t use the franchise tag by Monday’s deadline. Williams would have cost $22 million against the salary cap. They’re hoping to get him to sign a new deal before he hits the open market. If he does, there’s a good chance Williams will become the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
Defensive end Julius Peppers got $42 million guaranteed from the Bears three years ago. Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth got $41 million guaranteed from Washington.