Third-year tailback Domanick Davis, one of only 13 players in the last two decades to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons, has reached agreement with the Houston Texans on a four-year contract extension.
The agreement was reached Saturday, culminating months of discussions, and after a brief holdup because of a quirk in the collective bargaining agreement. A CBA rule stipulates that contracts can be adjusted only once in a 12-month period. Since the two sides had done a minor reworking of the deal last August, they had to wait until Saturday to finish the agreement.
Davis, 24, was entering the final season of his original three-year contract, and his base salary for 2005 was scheduled to be $380,000. The five-year deal that results from the extension, through 2009, is worth $22 million and includes $8 million in guarantees.
"It's a deal that is fair to both sides and the Texans, as usual, did it the right way," said agent Rick Smith. "[Texans] general manager Charley Casserly didn't have to do this. But they did the right thing and now, for five more years, they have an excellent tailback in his prime, and at a price that works for everyone."
Indeed, the Texans could have paid Davis his $380,000 salary for this year and then likely retained him for 2006 by using a first-round restricted qualifying offer on him. Such a qualifying offer probably would have been enough to scare off any teams that might have pursued Davis next spring as a restricted free agent.
But give Davis credit for not making any noise about outplaying his minimum contract, for going to work every day and doing his job.
Davis was a fourth-round choice in the 2003 draft, selected primarily as a kickoff returner. He wasn't even a full-time starter at LSU, but broke into the Texans lineup six games into his rookie campaign. Despite starting only 10 games, he rushed for 1,031 yards and eight touchdowns on 238 carries. In 2004, he carried 302 times for 1,188 yards and 13 scores.
In addition to his rushing skills, Davis has developed nicely as a receiver. He had 68 catches in 2004 and has 115 receptions for his two seasons.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.