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Foster will make $18 million in base salary next season, and the deal includes $20.75 million guaranteed. He acknowledged that the negotiation was “nerve-racking,” but says now the pressure is off.

“It’s tough for an athlete to go out and play knowing a pending contract is there,” he said. “I think playing with that weight off of your shoulders and not having to worry about a long-term contract, you get to play free and you just get to play ball. I’m excited. I can’t wait to get back on the field and do what I do best.”

The team’s next major order of business is deciding the fate of outside linebacker Mario Williams, who will become an unrestricted free agent next week.

Another key unrestricted free agent is center Chris Myers, part of the offensive line that helped Houston finish second in rushing (153 yards per game) and set a franchise record for yards on the ground (2,448).

Myers, who just finished his fourth year in Houston, says he’s hopeful that he and the Texans will get a satisfactory deal done.

“Aside from being an uncertain time, it’s also a fun time in my career,” Myers said before a charity golf event sponsored by former Texans lineman Chester Pitts. “I’ve said since Day 1 I’d like to be back. On the other end, it’s like everyone says, it’s a business. I’m very unsure about things right now, I don’t know how it’s going to play out.”