What we know about Arian Foster's contract

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
11:21
AM ET

Adam Schefter reports Arian Foster's five-year deal is worth $43.5 million and includes a guarantee of $20.75 million.

Foster, who made $525,000 in 2011, will make $18 million this season and $30 million in first three years of deal.

It’s a lot of money, but the $8.6 million annual average is not too far above the franchise number for 2012, which is around $8 million.

He’ll be 26 in August, so this deal would look to cover the remainder of his prime earning years.

The one remaining number I’m eager to learn is Foster’s 2012 cap number.

I understand the wariness about paying a running back big dollars. They can disappear quickly (see Chris Johnson last year after he got his big contract).

But I believe Foster is reasonable and not driven by money. He was the biggest value in the league the past two years and did not complain. Instead, he talked of how with what he was making his family never had to worry about having dinner on the table the way he did when he was a kid.

That approach surely helped him prompt the Texans to want to pay him.

They found him as an undrafted free agent. So while I don’t believe in paying in the future for past performance, if there is ever an exception, it’s for a guy like this. Part of what he’s getting $18 million for this year is 2010 and 2011.

Yes, a lot of backs can plug into the Texans' system and be effective. But Foster’s been well beyond effective. He’s tailor-made for what they do and he doesn’t just run well, he’s a phenomenal receiver.

He’s the kind of guy, based on production and personality, who deserved a payday.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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