Updated: Texans smart to use tag on Robinson

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Houston Texans have insured they won't lose cornerback Dunta Robinson by putting the franchise tag on him, John McClain reports.

The Texans are certainly going to work toward a long-term deal that would chop down his salary-cap number for 2009, which under the tag is $9.975 million. It's the first time the team has used the tag.

Robinson is a huge piece for the Texans, who played much better last season after he returned from rehabilitating a major knee and hamstring injury.

Houston needs another starting cornerback, and simply could not have afforded to lose Robinson in free agency.

"Dunta is an important part of our team and organization," said general manager Rick Smith in the teams news release. "We worked extremely hard to try and get a long-term contract done with him; however we were unable to reach an agreement. We hope to reach a long-term deal that ensures that Dunta will remain a Houston Texan for years to come."