Texans show commitment with Ryans' deal

March, 30, 2010
3/30/10
5:30
PM ET
This offseason, as well as last season, the Texans created some uncertainty with fans and in their own locker room.

Ryans
Ryans
While they’d committed long term to receiver Andre Johnson and right tackle Eric Winston, free agency loomed for other prime players: cornerback Dunta Robinson middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and tight end Owen Daniels.

Here’s a column on that from last summer.

Ryans, who missed out on unrestricted free agency because no salary cap in 2010 extended the service time needed to qualify, got a pricey tender and appeared to have to wait.

The wait ended Tuesday as he got a six-year, $48 million contract with $21.75 million guaranteed and $26.3 million in the first three years of the contract, according to Adam Schefter.

It looks to be a win-win deal for a team that extended the contract of Gary Kubiak this offseason and faces a make-or-break year with the playoffs the goal after the franchise’s first winning season.

Scouts and executives I’ve spoken to about Ryans simply love him and his constant proximity to the ball. His game is a great combination of physical gifts, instincts and intelligence. Texans' fans can relax because the team has shown it will commit to a guy who’s that prized combination of centerpiece and spokesman.

He and Brian Cushing, coming off a defensive rookie of the year season, should be one of the league’s top tandems for years to come.

The Texans let Robinson, now in Atlanta, depart as a free agent after a year with the franchise tag. Daniels, coming off another ACL tear, will likely be more complicated. But he said he’s confident once he’s healthy things will move forward.

Strong safety Bernard Pollard, an excellent early-season addition is another RFA the team should try to lock up long term.

In time, we’ll be asking about Daniels and Pollard.

But for right now, any questions about owner Bob McNair’s willingness to open the vault for the deserving should be tabled.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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