Benardrick McKinney is about to be a whole lot richer. Mark Berman of Fox26 in Houston reports (via Twitter) that the Texans have signed the linebacker to a five-year, $50MM deal ($21MM guaranteed). The 25-year-old’s contract was set to expire at the end of the 2018 campaign.
“Bernardrick plays a key role in our defense and has been highly productive, but more importantly he is a core player who has developed into a team leader within our program,” said general manager Brian Gaine (via HoustonTexans.com) “We are excited to have him a part of our long term future here at the Texans.”
The 2015 second-round pick out of Mississippi State has emerged as one of the Texans’ top defenders over the past two seasons. Following a solid rookie campaign in 2015, McKinney earned a second-team All-Pro nod in 2016 after compiling 129 tackles, five sacks, and one forced fumble.
This past season, the linebacker finished with 95 tackles and three sacks, with Pro Football Focus ranking him 24th among qualifying linebackers. For 2018, he’ll presumably start alongside Jadeveon Clowney, Zach Cunningham, and Whitney Mercilus.
While signing McKinney was surely a priority for the organization, the Texans are still trying to ink at least one of his teammates to a long-term deal. We heard back in April that a long-term deal with Clowney was inevitable but not imminent.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.