Brian Cushing's Contract Extension With Houston Texans Means More Pressure

It’s been a bumpy ride for Brian Cushing so far in his short NFL career, but the Houston Texans apparently aren’t worried about it. Houston signed it’s 26-year-old star linebacker to a six-year, $55.6 million contract extension on Tuesday, meaning Cushing is now locked in as the face of the Texans’ defense for the next half a dozen years.

Cushing missed the majority of the 2012 season due to a knee injury after missing four games in 2010 while serving a suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. But those negatives came after Cushing earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2009 and then had another stellar year in 2011 with 114 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions.

The pressure is now on the USC product to live up to expectations, which includes staying healthy. Cushing now has to lift a Texans defense that has been good, but not great in the past two seasons after suffering as the laughing stock of the league for the first decade of the franchise’s existence. In other words, being Brian Cushing is now a hard job, even with the average salary of $11 million. No pressure, dude.