It was reported earlier this week that contract conversations were ongoing between Duane Brown, outside linebacker Connor Barwin and the Texans, which were looking to lock up one or both players during the preseason.
Prior to Thursday, both Barwin, 25, and Brown, 26, were entering the final year of their rookie contracts. Brown had been scheduled to make $2.08 million this season. Terms of his contract extension are not yet known.
Update: According to league sources, it’s a six-year contract extension worth $53.4 million with $22 million guaranteed.
A former first-round selection (26th overall) out of Virginia Tech in 2008 by the Texans, Brown suffered an injury to his left ankle during a running play two weeks ago that left the team holding its breath. However, he appears to be fully healthy, as he started in the preseason opener in last week’s 26-13 win over the Carolina Panthers.
In four seasons, Brown has started in all 60 games he’s appeared in and comes off the best year of his career, where he allowed only 2.5 sacks and landed on the Associated Press’ second All-Pro team. Quarterback Matt Schaub also called Brown the best left tackle in the NFL at the beginning of training camp.
The 6-4, 264-pound Barwin also comes off the best campaign of his career. He had made a total of 18 tackles with 4.5 sacks in his rookie year, before missing his entire second season (2010) due to injury.
Last year, Barwin, a former 2009 second-round pick (46th overall) out of Cincinnati, made the move to outside linebacker from defensive end. He started in all 16 games, racking up 47 tackles, 11.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
Houston had just $3.3 million left in available cap space before handing Brown an extension, so Schaub and Barwin both might have to wait until after their “Super Bowl or bust” season before having their contracts addressed, according to a source with knowledge of each team’s cap space, per NFL.com.
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Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He also writes for RantPolitical.com, where he reports on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyzes important issues in the liberty movement. Follow @_MichaelGartman, @RantPolitical and @GridironGrit on Twitter!