Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Monday, March 5, 2012
With Foster deal, Myers now Texans' focus

By Paul Kuharsky

That’s a relief.

The Houston Texans head into the 2012 league year with several difficult choices. But they’ve taken care of one major player, agreeing on a five-year contract with running back Arian Foster, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle and ESPN's Adam Schefter.

That means the team won’t have to use the franchise tag on Foster, who would have been a restricted free agent who could have been lost to an offer sheet at the cost of a first-round pick.

Foster
Foster
Myers
Myers
The franchise still has a big list of pending free agents, including outside linebacker Mario Williams, center Chris Myers, guard Mike Brisiel, tight end Joel Dreessen and kicker Neil Rackers.

If the team can’t reach a deal with Williams, he’ll hit the market as the biggest defensive free agent. They cannot afford to use the franchise tag on him as it would be more than $22 million.

The franchise tag number for offensive linemen is the same for tackles, guards and centers — an unreasonably large grouping. The team likely can’t clear roughly $9.5 million to tag Myers either, and a long-term deal for him should now be the priority.

We don’t know Foster’s numbers yet on the five-year deal, but he was due a giant raise after playing as the biggest value in the league the past two seasons. He made $525,000 last season.