The Texans have agreed to a five-year contract with RB Arian Foster, keeping one of the league's top backs in Houston for the prime of his career. The news was first reported Monday morning by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Foster, a former undrafted free agent, has been one of the NFL's top players the past two seasons. In 2010, his first as a starter, he had 327-1,616-16 on the ground, leading the league in rushing. He followed that up last season with 278-1,224-10 in just 13 games for the NFC South-champion Texans. Foster also had more than 50 receptions and 600 receiving yards in both seasons.
A restricted free agent, there was little doubt Foster would remain in Houston. However by reaching an extension, the Texans could opt to use their franchise tag on OLB Mario Williams, one of their top defensive players. They have until 4 p.m. ET on Monday to do that.
The way we see it
Getting Foster locked up long-term was paramount for the Texans, as placing a first-round tender on the former restricted free agent would have risked another team swooping in and making him an offer the Texans couldn't afford to match for only the cost of a first-round pick.
Foster has been arguably the Texans' best offensive player the past two seasons, and he never once griped about his contract or heavy workload. This deal ensures he will spend the prime of his career in Houston.
The Texans' next order of business is continuing to crunch numbers to present their best possible offer to OLB Mario Williams before he hits the free-agent market next week. C Chris Myers figures to be another top priority for Houston to re-sign.
Despite missing three games and being ineffective his first game of the season, Foster still averaged 27.5 utilizations for 141.6 yards from scrimmage and 0.9 TDs per game. Clearly an elite back, he'll arguably be this season's No. 1 overall pick. His style fits the team's schemes and he's still young enough to carry the load 20-plus times per game.
At 25, he's entering his prime. While there are a few questions on the offensive line, they aren't enough to worry fantasy owners entering the season. As it was last season, make sure you target Ben Tate for the handcuff. Foster's elite, but if he goes down, Tate can post No. 1 fantasy numbers, as well.