One of the first scouting bromides I heard that stuck with me for the long term was: Money makes a guy more of what he is.
It’s obvious, really. It’s far easier to give a big contract to a productive player you are certain is a good guy than one you have questions about.
And if you aren’t sure what kind of guy you are dealing with, you’re reluctant to give him a big contract until you know.
The Texans had no concerns in that department when they gave Arian Foster a five-year, $43.5 million deal with nearly $21 million guaranteed.
“Money doesn’t motivate him; he’s a guy that loves football,” linebacker Brian Cushing said. “He’s gotten over that hump with ‘Was he a one-year wonder’ doing what he did last year battling through injury. I mean, he gets a full year, he’s going to be dangerous. I see him every day; he’s getting better. It’s always me and him competing against each other in pass protection and running the ball, and he’s tremendous. In my opinion, the best back in the league.”
With Peyton Manning gone, I rate Foster as the headliner of the AFC South.
I asked him about the idea of money making him more of what he is.
“Money reveals you,” he said. “I think it’ll bring out the philanthropist in me, the person I want to be who gives back. I’ll make sure my family’s future is secured. I’m not one to buy a car or chains and jewelry, not anything against those guys who do, to each his own.
“But that’s just not my style. I’m more about building a future and foundation for myself and bettering my community.”
A lot of guys getting a big contract will say that. I believe Foster means it.