Zach Cunningham, Texans Reportedly Agree on 4-Year, $58M Contract Extension

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2020

Houston Texans inside linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) line up against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Houston Texans and linebacker Zach Cunningham reportedly agreed to a contract extension Sunday that will pay him an average of $14.5 million per season, per Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.   

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported the total deal was for four years and $58 million. 

The 25-year-old was heading into the final season of his rookie contract and scheduled to make $1.1 million. The fourth-year veteran has been a starter his entire career with Houston since being taken in the second round of the 2017 draft.

After setting a career high with 142 tackles last season, Cunningham set himself up well for long-term contract negotiations. Pro Football Focus gave him a solid grade of 69.0 last season, which falls in line with what is mostly a reasonable contract.

"Every year guys make progress in the league, and the longer you play, the more progress you can make," Houston assistant head coach Romeo Crennel told reporters in January. "I think that what we're seeing is we're seeing that progress occur with him from year one, to year two, to year three. He's got a good football sense, he works hard and puts himself in position to make the plays."

Cunningham isn't a foundational talent, but he's a solid run defender who provides the Texans with what they need in the front seven. Given the exodus of talent that's happened in Houston in the last couple of years, it's promising that they're focusing on retention.