“It’s hard to change a man’s mind when his heart is in it.” For those of you who follow this man on Twitter, you might know these words belong to him before I even reveal the author. Houston Texans RB Arian Foster is a continual font of inner reflection and wisdom. With his incredible performance and dedication to Houston Football on and off the field this season, he has slowly built himself into what I like to call, a bona-fide Houstonian, the absolute heart of this team.
The end of the 2011 season has left Foster a restricted free agent. Although he has expressed his desire to stay in the Texans uniform, the question arises: does Foster merit a multi-million dollar contract that puts him among the ranks of his competitors?
Let’s take a look at some stats: In 2010, Foster was first in the league in rushing yards, with his longest rush at 74 yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, and 89 first downs. Fast forward to the 2011 season, with Foster completing 1,224 rushing yards, putting him 5th in the league. With 10 rushing touchdowns, and 48 first downs, and his longest rush at 43 yards, Foster rounds out the season with quite the impressive resume. But, how does Foster compare with the league’s elite?
Running backs Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings famously signed contracts in September of 2011, launching them into multi-million dollar salaries. Each were awarded with lucrative new deals for outperforming their rookie contracts. Johnson, an East Carolina grad, signed a six-year, $55.26 million contract, with $30 million guaranteed and a $20 million signing bonus. Peterson, a 5-year veteran out of Oklahoma, inked an even bigger deal with the Vikings, banking at $96 million. $36 million of the contract is guaranteed, $32 million guaranteed for skill, and $4 million for injury.
In 2010, Johnson clocked in at number 4 in the league, with 1,364 total rushing yards, 11 touchdowns, and 55 first downs. In 2011, Johnson dropped down to number 14, with just 1,047 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, and 47 first downs. For Peterson, 2010 reflected him as 6th in the league, with 1,298 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns, and 70 first downs. Peterson also downgraded in 2011, coming in at just 970 rushing yards, with 12 touchdowns, and 49 first downs.
Did your jaw drop?
Mine did. Foster has these guys beat by a landslide. Keep in mind that Arian only dropped 4 slots between the 2010 & 2011 season, while Johnson and Peterson dropped by 10 and 12 slots respectively. Combine this information with the fact that Foster is personable, humble, centered, and now, a hometown hero, there is absolutely no stopping him.
So does #23 merit a multi-million dollar contract? In this girl’s opinion, the answer is a definite “yes”. The stats and “Holy Moley” fans speak for themselves; but, then again, so does Arian. The spirit in me respects the spirit in you, my friend. #namaste.