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Posted: Thursday August 16, 2012 3:05PM ; Updated: Thursday August 16, 2012 5:12PM

Texans sign LT Brown to new contract

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Duane Brown
Duane Brown was a second-team All-Pro in 2011.
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
NFL Team Page

HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Texans signed left tackle Duane Brown to a new contract Thursday, locking up a durable anchor to help protect Matt Schaub and open holes for Arian Foster.

The six-year contract is worth $53.4 million, with $22.08 million guaranteed, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said on condition of anonymity because terms have not been released by the team.

"I understand they had a lot of confidence in me, a lot of faith in me," Brown said. "I'm just very grateful. I try to put in as much work as possible, and just do my part for this team and make it successful, and I'm going to continue to do that."

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Brown has started all but four games since the Texans drafted him with the 26th overall pick in 2008. Brown earned Associated Press All-Pro second team honors in 2011 after helping the Texans set a franchise record for yards rushing (2,448). Brown was not called for holding once last season.

"We're happy for him," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "As a coach in this business, you love seeing players doing it the right way get rewarded. He's been exceptional since the day he walked in the building, not only as a player, but as a person. He's got a lot of bright years ahead of him."

The Texans (No. 6 in the AP Pro32) play San Francisco (No. 4) in their second preseason game on Saturday at Reliant Stadium. Schaub and outside linebacker Connor Barwin also remain unsigned beyond this season.

General manager Rick Smith acknowledged that retaining Brown was a top priority.

"He's a young, ascending player," Smith said. "He's determined to being as good as he can be, and I think he's committed to being as good as there is in the league."

While Houston will break in new, full-time starters on the right side of the line, Brown has started all 16 regular-season games in three of his first four seasons. Schaub called Brown the best left tackle in the league before training camp began.

"It's just surreal," Brown said of his new deal. "I've been happy to just make it to this point, to the NFL. But once you get here, it's hard work and I realize that. It took me a while to mature and get to this point in my life where I've become a complete pro and I'm just happy that they recognized that, and had the confidence in me to extend this great deal."

Brown was suspended four games in 2010 for a positive test for a supplement on the league's list of banned substances. He acknowledged then that he made a "naive" mistake and was scared straight by "the longest four weeks of my life." Offensive line coach John Benton says Brown has shown a new level of maturity and leadership since returning from the suspension.

Brown seems to have luck on his side, too, lately. Early in camp, Brown got tangled in a pile and came out limping. An MRI exam showed only a bone bruise in his lower left leg, and Brown was back at practice the following week.

Brown married radio host and MTV personality Devon "Devi Dev" Anjelica in Southern California in July and the two went on a weeklong honeymoon in Thailand. His wife acknowledged him on Twitter soon after news of his contract leaked out.

"Congrats to the man I love @DuaneBrown76 on a well deserved new contract," she wrote. "*Houston Texas, home of the Texans.*" Brown turns 27 on Aug. 30, yet another reason to celebrate a remarkable year, personally and professionally.

"It's been a heck of a year," Brown said. "I've been very blessed, I'm very grateful. I've got to thank my wife, she's been very supportive. To go from marriage to honeymoon to training camp and get a new deal, and my birthday's coming up. It's been an awesome year for me."

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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