HOUSTON – The Houston-based Texans have signed linebacker Benardrick McKinney for a five-year, $ 50 million contract extension, said Adam Schefter of ESPN on Thursday.
According to Schefter, the contract includes $ 21 million.
Benardrick [McKinney] plays a key role in our defense and has been prolific, but above all, he is a core player who has evolved into a team leader within our program, "said General Manager Brian Gaine," We are delighted that he's part of our long-term future here among the Texans. "
McKinney was the Texan's second choice in 2015 and played a key role in defending the team.The 25-year-old had his best season in 2016 when he had a career high 129 tackles and five sacks.
Prior to this offseason, Gaine McKinney praised leadership and production while playing a core stance.The Texans expect McKinney to play an even bigger role in 2018 after being batted in the February veteran linebacker Brian Cushing turned off.
"When you play the Mike Linebacker role, you command the huddle, you lead the huddle," Gaine said. "The production plays a role, but also the fact that we feel that it is built for eternity. We feel that he is fulfilling the height, the weight and the speed in the role, but he is now the guy leading the group. Now we expect great things from the point of view of leadership, and maybe he is ready for it now. "
Prior to signing McKinney, the Texans had more than $ 35 million in capital, and Gaine has also expressed optimism that Houston will be able to rank Jadeveon Clowney # 1 in the list 2014 to make a long-term deal before the season begins.