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Texans' Green to make down payment on home for No. 30 jersey

HOUSTON -- When Ahman Green arrived in Houston he figured
he'd have to go deep into his pockets to get his beloved No. 30
from longtime Texan Jason Simmons.

Green was right about the switch costing him, but not in the way
he expected. Simmons said he'd gladly surrender the number if Green
made the down payment on a home for a single parent.

The deal was a relief to Green, who signed as free agent with
the Texans after playing in Green Bay since 2000. The running back
admitted to being nervous that he wouldn't be able to get his
number.

He readied himself for what he thought might be an awkward
conversation since Simmons had worn the number for Houston since
the team's inception in 2002. But as soon as he got the question
out, he knew it wouldn't be a problem.

"He said what he wanted to do and I said: 'Yeah I'm all on
board. That's easy,"' Green said. "Tell me where to write the
check to. So instead of putting the money into his pocket, he's
going to put in into somebody else's home, house and help them get
their life started."

It's just been on my mind to go out and help a family in need. I just understand that it's not all about money. In my life, I never want to get caught up in just money because it can ruin you.

-- Jason Simmons

Green didn't know this at the time, but he had no reason to
worry that Simmons wouldn't help him out because the cornerback had
admired his game since the two played against each other in
college.

"I've been a fan of his for a while," Simmons said. "He's got
size and speed and balance that you don't see much in running
backs. You don't see guys that can make the tough runs and also
take it 80 yards. So that's a rare combination."

Simmons said Green sounded nervous when he called.

"I did hear that in his tone," Simmons said. "He was like:
'Uh just wondering if' and kind of stuttering a little bit. It was
kind of different to hear. I didn't recognize his voice just
because it seemed like there was that apprehension."

Green signed a four-year, $23 million contract in the offseason
to replace franchise leading rusher Domanick Williams (formerly
Davis) who was released after missing all of last season with
injuries. He has 8,491 yards and 54 touchdowns in his nine-year
career that began with Seattle.

He said the plan was good not only because they can help a
family, but because the moment forged an instant bond between the
two players.

"He opened his arms already as a new teammate to me to bring
this on and help out a family," Green said.

Simmons said charity has long been important to him and he
thought Green's request would be a perfect opportunity to help
others.

"It's just been on my mind to go out and help a family in
need," Simmons said. "I just understand that it's not all about
money. In my life, I never want to get caught up in just money
because it can ruin you."

The pair are working out the details of their donation and said
they'll announce exactly what the contribution is when it happens.

While Simmons has switched to the No. 22, Green is happily
sporting his No. 30 at Houston's minicamp this week. He's long worn
the number, but it's particularly fitting for him this season after
he celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this year.

Though some see 30 as over the hill for a running back, Green
still thinks he has some good years left and the Texans agree after
inking him to the long-term contract.

"Age is just a number," he said. "I don't care if I'm 40, as
long as I can still do the things as a running back, I'm going to
do it at 40."