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.
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.
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