For 17 weeks, plus however long they might be in the playoffs, the Texans and Connor Barwin will only be talking about the present.
Both sides are hitting pause on talks of a contract that would ensure he’s with the team in the future.
The Texans don’t negotiate contracts during the season, and the outside linebacker is on board with that. I understand the policy -- although a GM and an agent can easily iron something out at any time of the year, developments or a new deal during the season can be distracting.
When the team reached a deal with left tackle Duane Brown early in training camp, I thought it could also get one done with Barwin.
But word is there is nothing to report.
So barring very late developments and an announcement of a contract extension in the next four hours or so, Barwin will be playing out the last year of his contract.
The Texans should be good this year, and fans would be wise to enjoy the ride and not worry about expiring contracts. Matt Schaub is also playing out his deal.
Big seasons by Barwin and Schaub will make them more expensive and harder to sign, but a team that truly wants to keep a guy generally finds a way to do so.
If Barwin can do something on par with what he did last year, with 11.5 sacks, 27 quarterback hits and seven pass defenses, he’ll be a very attractive commodity in a league where 3-4 schemes are becoming more popular.
(Indianapolis will likely be looking to replace Dwight Freeney and could be in a situation where they weaken a primary competitor by signing away a key guy. That’s just me forecasting.)
And if you make it to the end of the season, it's hard to sign a new deal with free agency looming. Who wouldn't want to see what the rest of the league thinks he's worth? It doesn't mean he won't be back. It just means it may be more difficult to ensure it.