Blog Entry

Report: Texans, Foster no progress on new deal

Posted on: January 8, 2012 1:44 pm
Houston could wait until next offseason to address Foster's desire for a long-term contract. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Even if you've been half paying attention to our various soapbox sermons this season (and we fully understand if you've instead chosen to ignore us -- get in line), you're probably familiar with this one: teams shouldn't pay running backs big money because they're easy to replace. We've said ir in the past and brushed off the argument in August when Chris Johnson held out for a new deal.

The Titans eventually caved, Johnson woefully underperformed and those four months of mostly dreadful football no doubt has Tennessee questioning the decision, but it also ruined any chance that young backs now looking for new contracts would be able to cash in.

Matt Forte, Ray Rice and Arian Foster are all among the league's best runners. And by the time 2012 rolls around, they'll make substantially less than they might have just a few years ago for the reasons we described above.

Foster on Houston playoff victory. Rookie J.J. Watt returned an interception for a touchdown, and Andre Johnson and Arian Foster put the game away with second-half scores to power the Texans over the Cincinnati Bengals 31-10 on Saturday in the NFL playoffs.

Foster, who came into the league in 2009 as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee, began his career on the Texans' practice squad. He started one game as a rookie before going off last season, leading the league with 1,616 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. A hamstring injury limited Foster early in 2011, but by the time it was over he ran for 1,224 yards and 10 scores. In Houston's wild-card matchup against Cincinnati Saturday, Foster continued to make a case for just how important he is to this offense, rushing for 153 yards on 31 carries, including two touchdowns.

And yet, the Texans and Foster have "made zero progress" towards a long-term deal, a source tells's Mike Florio.

Foster will be a restricted free agent this offseason, which means that the Texans don't have to concern themselves with a multi-year contract just yet. Instead, they can sign him to a tender that what Florio suspects will be in the neighborhood of $3 million for 2012 and revisit things 12 months from now.

That'll be Foster's fourth professional season, which is something more than that when measured in running back years. By that point, Houston could chose to move in a different direction, one that involves Ben Tate, or perhaps address the position in free agency or the draft.

Still, Foster does have some leverage. Florio writes:

"If [he] receives a one-year tender offer, he’ll be entitled to hold out as long as he chooses, since he won’t be under contract. In theory, he could show up in Week 10, sign the tender, and get credit for his fourth season, becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2013."

Ultimately, however, the organization has more leverage. First, as we've mentioned a few million times, running backs are fungible. Second, Foster apparently wants to play football. He's not interested in sitting on the couch, Chris Johnson-style, while his agent bangs out a deal. Florio points out that Foster didn’t hesitate to sign his one-year tender offer in 2011, perhaps concerned that Tate might move up the depth chart in his absence.

Houston general manager Rick Smith has done a fantastic job of assembling the roster (particularly the 2011 defense, including coordinator Wade Phillips), but he'll have some decisions to make regarding Foster. If not this offseason, then certainly next offseason.

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Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: January 8, 2012 11:44 pm

Report: Texans, Foster no progress on new deal

popping bottles in the ice!

Since: Dec 1, 2007
Posted on: January 8, 2012 8:42 pm

Report: Texans, Foster no progress on new deal

There is an alarming trend for players holding out if they don't get a new contract. Two years ago Revis did it and got hurt. This past year Chris Johnson did and and got hurt. They also both had subpar years by their standards. Houston and Arian Foster would do both of them a favor by agreeing to a deal.

Since: Jan 8, 2012
Posted on: January 8, 2012 8:28 pm

Denver Game Today

The post game guys were very disrespectful to Tebow and Christians everywhere who find prayers of thanksgiving an appropriate response to favors rendered by God.  They bowed their heads in mockery after asking "Can Tebow do it again?" Then followed it with laughter.  In a nation where we find comfort in praying for our troops, safety for our atheletes, our nation and our families, more respect should be shown.  I'm not asking them to pray at the end of the game, just have a little respect for those who wish too.   

Since: Apr 25, 2007
Posted on: January 8, 2012 4:40 pm

Foster or Tate or both?

I'm a Texans fan. I want Foster signed and playing HERE. BUT do not want to see them break the bank. The blocking scheme we use gets running back yards. Ask Dominique Davis or Steve Slaton. They need to make him a good offer, but not the highest paid RB. They need to be able to pay others, too. If he asks too much, we'll start Tate & he'll be in the top 10 running backs for the next season.

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: January 8, 2012 2:07 pm

Report: Texans, Foster no progress on new deal

If the Titans had CJ1k the entire year at full speed they probably would have made the playoffs. If the Bears and Texans are smart, they handle those deals in advance. Either that or rebuild their offense so that they don't need a top flight RB to bail them out. Teams like the Pats, Giants and Saints can rotate RBs and not miss a step because they are well built offenses with elite QBs. They have OCs or HCs that understand how to mix the pass and run so that you can run with less talent but still perform. These other teams don't know that and lean entirely on the run.

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