Foster's agent Mike McCartney said Monday that a deal was done, though Foster had not yet signed it. His new deal is worth up to $43.5 million, with $20.75 million guaranteed. He'll make $18 million in base salary next season, plus incentives.
Foster was an undrafted free agent in 2009, and made $525,000 last season. He was the NFL's leading rusher in 2010 with 1,616 yards and ran for 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He was due to become a restricted free agent next week, but McCartney said Foster was eager to work out a deal with the Texans.
"This was a really tough time for Arian, because he took a major risk," McCartney said. "He really took to heart that the Texans basically said, 'Hey, we know you had a great year (in 2010), but we need to see it again.'
"I give the Texans credit," McCartney said. "He was restricted, at a low salary. It would've been really easy for them to just sit back and see what happened."
Foster never seemed preoccupied with his contract situation during the regular season, rushing for more than 100 yards in seven games. He ran for 153 yards in the Texans' playoff victory over Cincinnati.
"He handled the whole situation with great class," McCartney said. "He was a great example of how to handle these kinds of situations, and to see the Texans reward him like this, I'm really thrilled for him. He's definitely excited about it."
Keeping Foster was one of Houston's main objectives after the Texans earned their first division title and playoff victory last season. The Texans also must make a decision on outside linebacker Mario Williams, who's an unrestricted free agent.
McCartney was impressed that general manager Rick Smith made Foster a priority.
"He was proactive," McCartney said. "We had excellent dialogue throughout the negotiation. I have great respect for the way the Texans handled this. It's great to see them reward a guy who does it the right way. Arian's done everything the right way, throughout this whole process."
McCartney says Foster feels like he's a perfect fit for coach Gary Kubiak's offense, another big reason why he wanted to get a deal done.
Foster was also Houston's second-leading receiver last season, with 53 catches for 617 yards and two touchdowns, and he ranked third in yards from scrimmage in 2011 (1,841).
"He's a good fit for the zone-run scheme," McCartney said, "but he's also got something for the pass game. As this offense continues to evolve, I wouldn't be surprised to see him become even more of a focal point for the passing game."