HOUSTON — The Texans signed inside linebacker Brian Cushing to a six-year contract extension Tuesday, locking up their defensive leader through the 2019 season, according to a league source.
The deal is worth $55.643 million, including $21 million guaranteed, according to media reports.
Cushing was entering the final season of his rookie contract he signed as the No. 15 overall pick in 2009. The timing of the deal is key because the Texans normally don’t negotiate new contracts once the season begins.
Cushing missed most of last season with a torn ACL. He suffered the injury in Week 5 against the New York Jets as the result of an illegal block by Jets guard Matt Slauson.
The Texans allowed at least 25 points in five of the 11 regular-season games he missed.
A Pro Bowler in his rookie season and All-Pro in 2011, Cushing has registered 238 tackles and 9.5 sacks in 49 career regular-season games.
Cushing is one of the centerpieces of a Texans defense that also includes reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and cornerback Johnathan Joseph.
In order to free the salary-cap space to sign Cushing, the team restructured receiver Andre Johnson’s deal to reduce a $10.5 million salary this year to $5 million in base salary and $5.5 million in bonuses, a league source said.
This article was originally posted on ESPN.com