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Posted at 10:06 AM ET, 03/05/2012

Marshawn Lynch, Arian Foster sign long-term deals with Seahawks, Texans


Keep those Skittles handy. Marshawn Lynch is staying in Seattle. (Jonathan Ferrey - Getty Images)
Arian Foster was the centerpiece of the best Houston Texans team in the franchise’s history.

Marshawn Lynch was one of the leauge’s best running backs in the second half of a season for the Seattle Seahawks.

One is fond of shaving his team’s logo into his hair. The other has a sweet spot for Skittles. Now both bruising tailbacks are reaping the rewards of strong 2011 campaigns.

Less than 24 hours before Monday’s 4 p.m. league-wide franchise tag deadline, the Seahawks re-upped with Lynch, giving the 25-year-old a four-year deal worth a reported $31 million.

This morning, the Texans followed suit, locking up their 25-year-old Pro Bowler for five more years . The NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reported the deal is worth $43.5 million with $20.75 million guaranteed. The contract makes Foster one of the league’s three highest paid backs, along with Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson.

After eclipsing 75 yards only once in the first two months of the season, Lynch broke out into ‘Beast Mode’ with six 100-yard games over his last nine. Over that span, Lynch rushed for 941 yards and scored nine touchdowns while the Seahawks went 5-4.


Arian Foster is the NFL’s second-leading rusher over the last two seasons. (Marcio Jose Sanchez - AP)
“We are excited to keep Marshawn as part of what we are building,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said. “This is what we were hoping for when we acquired him from Buffalo.”

In Houston, Foster was the offense for much of the season, and when starting quarterback Matt Schaub was lost for the season, the NFL’s 2010 rushing king stepped up. And in the team’s first playoff game, it was Foster’s 153-yard, two-touchdown performance that carried his team past the Bengals. The undrafted third-year back has rushed for 2,839 yards since becoming the team’s starter in 2010.

“As you can imagine, Arian is thrilled,” Foster’s agent Mike McCartney said. “Arian loves Houston and the team. He didn’t want to leave. I’m just thrilled for Arian.”

Running backs are not the only guys getting big deals on franshise tag day, either. The Buffalo Bills and wide receiver Stevie Johnson are reportedly on the verge of agreeing to terms for a five-year contract that would keep the team’s top pass catcher upstate through 2016. ESPN’s Adam Schefter quoted a source who said the deal will likely be completed within the next 24 hours.

More from Washington Post Sports:

Seahawks avoid using franchise tag on Lynch

Foster agrees to 5-year deal with Houston Texans

Saints put franchise tag on Drew Brees

Ravens franchise Ray Rice; Bears do the same with Matt Forte

By  |  10:06 AM ET, 03/05/2012

 
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