Yesterday, the Houston Texans decided to start handing out money like it was candy as they gave four of their players contract extensions just before the start of the regular season next week. With these moves, the team has locked up guys who they clearly believe will play a big role in the future success of the franchise for years to come.
The Texans’ first contract extension was reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. He reported that a source told him that the team had locked up starting free safety Andre Hal. He was given a three-year, $15 million contract extension that comes with $7 million in guaranteed money.
Hal was picked in the seventh round out of Vanderbilt in 2014 and won the starting job part way through his second season. He lost that job for a short period last season but regained it by the playoffs and goes into this year as the unquestioned starter. In his career, Hal has played in 45 games and started 22 of them. He has 101 total tackles, one sack, six interceptions, 21 passes defended, and one defensive touchdown.
It was then reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter a few hours later that the team had also extended fullback Jay Prosch. A source told Schefter that his extension was for three years and was worth $5.75 million. It also comes with $2.7 million guaranteed.
Prosch was drafted by the team in the sixth round of the 2014 draft out of Auburn. Since joining the Texans, he has been their primary fullback, playing in 47 games and starting eight of them. Prosch is mostly a blocker, as he only has 10 career carries and two receptions.
It's a three-year, $15 million deal for Andre Hal, $7 million guaranteed— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) August 31, 2017
Texans signed FB Jay Prosch to a 3-year, $5.75 million extension, including $2.7M gtd, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2017
Next up for an extension was starting tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. His deal was first reported by Mark Berman, who is the sports director at Fox 26 Houston (KRIV), to be a three-year extension. Schefter reported that a source had told him the details of the deal, as the tight end would be getting $21.5 million and $10 million in guaranteed money.
Fiedorowicz was yet another member of the team’s 2014 draft class, having been taken in the third round out of Iowa. In his first two years in the NFL, he was mostly a blocking tight end but said going into 2016 that he had put a lot of effort into becoming a better pass catcher. This certainly showed itself on the field last season and helped reward Fiedorowicz’s bank account.
Going into 2016, he had 21 receptions for 195 yards and two touchdowns in 31 NFL games. Last year he broke out with a career season, hauling in 54 receptions for 559 yards and four touchdowns. Together with fellow tight end Ryan Griffin, who the team extended in March, the Texans tight ends finished second in catches and eighth in yards last year.
#Texans finalizing 3-year extension with TE CJ Fiedorowicz— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 31, 2017
Texans gave TE C.J. Fiedorowicz a three-year, $21.5 million extension that included $10 million gtd, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2017
The last player the Texans extended was the biggest of them all, their first round pick out of Clemson from the 2013 draft class, star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Adam Schefter once again had the scoop, tweeting that his sources told him that the Texans had given Hopkins a five-year contract extension.
He would soon follow up with the details on the extension, which was worth $81 million and included $49 million in guaranteed money, the most guaranteed money for any wide receiver in the league. Last April, the team had exercised Hopkins’ fifth-year option, so this upcoming season would have been his last before hitting free agency if not for the extension.
Hopkins has been a rising star since the team drafted him, as he has played in and started all 64 games in his career. In 2015, he made his first Pro Bowl off of a season in which he had 111 receptions for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns. His numbers dipped last year with Brock Osweiler at quarterback, but the Texans obviously think it was a fluke year since they still rewarded the receiver handsomely.
Texans signing WR DeAndre Hopkins to a 5-year contract extension, per sources. Will include largest guarantee for any WR in NFL.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2017
As Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle pointed out once the dust had settled on the Texans’ spending spree, the team had spent a lot of money. Yesterday, they gave out a total of $121.25 million in extensions, with $68.7 million of that being in the form of guaranteed money between the four players.
That amount of guaranteed money is the second most ever shelled out in a single day in August over the last 10 seasons. Only the Detriot Lions have given out more in a single day, which came on Monday when they paid quarterback Matthew Stafford $92 million in guaranteed money as part of his new contract extension.
[Featured Image by Bob Levey/Getty Images]