HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The Houston Texans are excited to have star linebacker Brian Cushing locked up for the next six seasons. Not surprisingly Cushing is pretty excited about the new contract as well.
In a press conference held today Cushing and Texans General Manager and Executive Vice President, Rick Smith, talked about the mutual excitement surrounding the 6-year $55.6 million deal.
“Obviously, I’m very excited about this situation. I’d like to thank the McNairs, Rick of course, (Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak, (Defensive Coordinator) Wade Phillips, everyone that’s involved,” Cushing started out saying after an introduction from Smith. “This is an organization that I love and I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my career. This was a no-brainer for us to be here. I’m a Texan now, consider Houston my home, and just couldn’t be more excited for the future that this team has and now being a part of it for the long haul. I’m very appreciative and I’m ready to roll.”
The contract comes at a time when most teams might wait until the season was over before signing a player coming off major knee surgery. Cushing missed the last 12 weeks of the season after leaving in week 5 against the Dolphins with an ACL tear.
“He’s shown us, throughout the course of his rehab process, that he was committed to returning to actually being better than he was before,” Smith said about the trust he has in Cushing. “I was confident in that and very comfortable with that as I watched him continue to do the things that he’s done to earn that trust.”
“Having Rick’s trust and the organization that they proved to do something like this makes me want to go out and prove them right,” Cushing added about how motivating it is to have a GM that believes in him, even coming off a major surgery.
“I’ve never been more excited to play football than I am right now. Having this year taken away from me, a lot of critics out there asking whether or I’ll be back or whatnot or what kind of form I’ll return to, I think anyone that knows me and my kind of work ethic knows that I’ll be back and better than ever.”
Cushing isn’t trying to ease himself back into the spotlight. He is ready to come out hard and fast for a Texans team that believes it will be competing for an AFC title come January. Once the rehab started for the linebacker he was focused on getting back on the field. Even sending pictures to Smith to show him how the rehab was going.
Cushing’s ultimate goal is to be the best linebacker in the NFL. Something that wont happen in week 1 against the San Diego Chargers but something Cushing is eying.
“What I envision is being the clear-cut best middle linebacker in the NFL,” Cush said. “I’ve never hid that. I’ve never not said that before. It’s something that I want and I think that I can get there. I know that I can get there. Obviously, it’s going to require a lot of work and a couple more years of dominant play. But I feel like I have the tools to do that. It’s one of those things that I’m going to have to continuously work at and obviously stay healthy, but I feel that I can very well do.”