Brian Cushing's Deal Is Done. Who's Next?
Omar Little put it best -- a man's gotta have a code.
Much to discuss in this week's cover story.
There's a time to color outside the lines, and there's a time to adhere unflinchingly to your own internal set of rules, and when it comes to contract negotiations, the Texans live by a strict moral code: Any negotiations of contract extensions or new deals will take place only outside of the regular season. Once the ball gets kicked off that first week or so of September, any contract talk goes on hiatus until January (or hopefully, February, right?).
It's served the team well over the years in that a) it's prevented contract negotiations from becoming an in-season distraction and b) it's created a real and impending deadline for guys who truly want to ink a deal to get it done.
It's come into play frequently over the past couple of seasons, as in addition to the normal free agency activity, there have been a small parade of offseason contract extensions:
In 2011, their philosophy was a non-issue. Tight end Owen Daniels got his extension done back in March of that year, inking a four-year deal to remain a Texan through 2014.
In 2012, though, there was a lot more work to do.
Like Daniels, running back Arian Foster got his deal done in March, before the draft, almost a year to the day after the tight end.
Others cut it a little closer, like left tackle Duane Brown getting his six-year extension completed in mid-August last year, just a few weeks before the start of training camp.
Then there are guys who cut it as close as allowable, like quarterback Matt Schaub, who inked his extension so close to last season's opener that they actually announced it after the first regular season game of 2012 in the post-game presser.
Thankfully for the Texans, the Schaub extension was announced after a game in which the Texans destroyed the Dolphins by a final score of 30-10. As divided as the city already was (and still is) on Schaub, I think Reliant might have burned to the ground if they had announced a $62 million extension for him coming off a loss to the Dolphins.
(By the way, Schaub's tenure in Houston and the importance of this season for him are a huge focal point of my Texans 2013 season preview, which can be found in print and online right here! Hopefully, the season -- and Schaub -- won't end up Breaking Bad(ly).)