It didn't take long for Texans linebacker Brian Cushing to establish himself as one of the premier inside linebackers in the league after he won 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and then helped Houston to their first playoff appearance in franchise history in 2011. However, perhaps his biggest accomplishment at this point would be showing that he can return to that dominant style of player after returning from a torn ACL suffered in Week 5 of last season.
It's that rehabilitation that is currently the focus of Cushing's attention and why he says he is not concerned with possible contract extension talks at the moment.
"No, you know, if they have, I wouldn’t even know because my main concern right now is just getting healthy and that’ll take care of everything else," Cushing said. "If they have, I wouldn’t even know. I try to stay out of that stuff. Obviously, I would like to get that done but it’s not really up to me."
Cushing helped stepped up in the absence of Mario Williams in 2011 and recorded 125 tackles with 4 sacks and 2 interceptions for Houston, as he was named to the AP All-Pro 2nd team that season. He seemed primed for a follow-up year that could help solidify his status next to the great linebackers of the league until the torn ACL took all but five games from him in 2012.
An extension could also allow the team to save money against the cap in 2013, with Cushing counting $4.64 million against the cap currently.