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Houston (CBS Houston) – The Houston Texans locked up inside linebacker Brian Cushing to a six-year, $55,643,000 contract, with $21 million guaranteed. Tuesday afternoon. Cushing’s existing five-year contract was set to expire after the 2013-2014 season and many had expected that the Texans would have some type of extension in place before the season began.
Cushing, 26, was signed as the Texans’ first-round draft pick in 2009 and now the Texans have solidified his position as a focal point in this Texans’ defense. Cushing was the defensive rookie of the year in 2009 and had more than 110 tackles in the two seasons where he played each game.
In 2012 Cushing suffered a season ending ACL tear against the New York Jets in the Texans fifth game. The loss of the Texans’ emotional and physical leader was felt on the field. In the 11 games without Cush, the defense dropped from 2nd to 16th in total defense and from 3rd to 20th in scoring defense.
In order to free up cap space to sign Cushing, Houston Chronicle and SportsRadio 610′s John McClain reported that the Texans restructured receiver Andre Johnson’s deal. The restructuring of his contract is to reduce a $10.5 million salary this year to $5 million in base salary and $5.5 million in bonuses.
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