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Brian Cushing signs big extension

The Houston Texans' defensive core solidified quite a bit Tuesday. That's because the franchise, fresh off a 12-4 season and with eyes on bigger things, inked star linebacker Brian Cushing to a six-year, $55.643 million extension, with $21 million guaranteed. It's being hailed as a good move for a team whose defense struggled at times after Cushing went down with an ACL injury early last season. Then again, that very injury could slow the 26-year-old going forward.

How do you feel about the Texans signing LB Brian Cushing to a six-year, $55.643 million extension ($21 million guaranteed)?

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Discuss (Total votes: 31,500)

  • Will Brian Cushing return to form this season after recovering from an ACL tear?

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    Discuss (Total votes: 5,076)

  • How many games will the Texans win in 2013?

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  • How far will the Texans go in 2013?

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  • Which team will have the AFC's best defense in 2013?

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So the San Francisco 49ers have good linebackers -- four of the best in the league, in fact. No wonder the team finished third in the league in yards allowed per game and third in points in 2012. Where do these Bay Area aces rank among all of the league's LBs? Click the images below to set your rankings!

Rank 'Em: MVP | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DLs | DBs | Offensive ROY | Defensive ROY

NFL linebackers in 2013

NaVorro Bowman

NaVorro Bowman

49ers
2012: 148 tackles, 2 sacks, FF, INT

Lance Briggs

Lance Briggs

Bears
2012: 103 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 INT

Ahmad Brooks

Ahmad Brooks

49ers
2012: 46 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 FF, INT

Brian Cushing

Brian Cushing

Texans
2012: 30 tackles, FF, INT

Tamba Hali

Tamba Hali

Chiefs
2012: 51 tackles, 9 sacks, FF

Derrick Johnson

Derrick Johnson

Chiefs
2012: 125 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 FF

Luke Kuechly

Luke Kuechly

Panthers
2012: 164 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INT

Sean Lee

Sean Lee

Cowboys
2012: 58 tackles, FF, INT

Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews

Packers
2012: 43 tackles, 13 sacks, FF

Jerod Mayo

Jerod Mayo

Patriots
2012: 147 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 FF, INT

Von Miller

Von Miller

Broncos
2012: 68 tackles, 18.5 sacks, 6 FF, INT

Brian Orakpo

Brian Orakpo

Redskins
2012: 5 tackles, sack, FF

Terrell Suggs

Terrell Suggs

Ravens
2012: 22 tackles, 2 sacks

Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith

49ers
2012: 66 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 3 FF, INT

Patrick Willis

Patrick Willis

49ers
2012: 120 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 INT

Lamarr Woodley

Lamarr Woodley

Steelers
2012: 38 tackles, 4 sacks, FF, INT

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video

We like to look for the silver linings in sports, even if it's occasionally the P90X of eye workouts. So sure, Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award despite having violated the NFL steroid policy in September, unbeknownst to voters. That's, well, not good. But focus on the positive! Now you don't have to live in Buffalo to know who Jairus Byrd is.

Byrd, a safety for the Bills, finished second in the voting the first time and stands to pick up more votes, and perhaps the award itself, now that the AP is voting again. But as AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky poses the question, does this start us down a slippery slope?

gravyboat63

So the rookie of the year used roids DURING his rookie year, but he gets to keep the award? I guess cheaters really do prosper. Ah yes, but he won't be able to go to the pro bowl, THAT's gonna teach him...

-- gravyboat63
sgbtexan

Roids aren't like baseball where you stop hitting homers. Cush is a predator who tracks down runners and deflects/intercepts passes like a defensive back. He didn't lead the team in INTs from any damn steroids. If he was using them to get over injury then he'll need to get tougher.

-- sgbtexan

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