After seven years with the Texans as their all-time leading rusher, former Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster has found a new NFL home.
Foster signed a one-year contract Monday with the Miami Dolphins following a successful tryout.
His contract has a maximum value of $3.5 million, including a $400,000 signing bonus, and a base value of $1.5 million, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.
Foster, 29, had previously visited the AFC East franchise, which needed a veteran presence to complement projected starter Jay Ajayi.
“My interest and teams' interest was spotty here and there," Foster said during a conference call. "But after my visit with Miami, I kind of already made my mind up that that’s where I wanted to be. So, I was stressing to my agent that I wanted to get the deal done, because I see a lot of promise in this team, and I feel like I can add value and help the team get to where they want to be. I’m going to try to do that as best as possible. I still feel like I'm a Pro Bowl caliber player, and I intend to show it."
Foster has made a sound recovery from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in October against the Dolphins that ended his season with the Texans and required surgery.
Foster endured an injury-plagued season last year where he tore a groin muscle during training camp and underwent surgery. Foster indicated that he's fully recovered from his injuries.
"I know that this league knows that when I’m on the field, I’m one of the most productive doing it," Foster said. "If there was any reluctance, it was on their end, and that’s really none of my business. All I can control is how hard I work and what I put into this game.”
Foster was scheduled to work out for the Detroit Lions later this week, but reached a deal with the Dolphins after displaying that he was healed up from his injuries.
Foster has been training twice per day at IX Innovations in Houston with his older brother, Abdul Foster.
The Dolphins needed a running back after losing Lamar Miller to a four-year, $26 million deal during free agency to join the Texans.
Their offer sheet for restricted free agent running back C.J. Anderson was matched by the Denver Broncos and Chris Johnson opted to remain with the Arizona Cardinals after visiting the Dolphins.
Foster will compete with Ajayi for a starting job.
“I don’t have any expectations," Foster said. "I’m just coming here to compete and help the squad out however I can.”
Released by the Texans after seven seasons, Foster was entering the fifth year of a $43.5 million contract and had an $8.925 million salary-cap figure and was scheduled for a $6.5 million nonguaranteed base salary.
Foster was limited to four games last season, gaining just 163 yards and scoring one touchdown with 22 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns. He was just starting to regain his old form when he injured his Achilles against the Dolphins. Foster has rushed for 6,472 career yards and 54 touchdowns.
One of the reasons Foster chose the Dolphins is because of his affinity for coach Adam Gase's offense, which heavily features the running back as a pass-catching presence.
"I think Adamreally knows how to use running backs out of the backfield, which I feel like is my best quality: route running and catching the ball out of the backfield," Foster said. "I think he knows how to steer the ship. I’m just happy to have a seat on the boat now.”
Foster will celebrate his 30th birthday in August. He's played in 25 games over the past three seasons.
When healthy, Foster has been extremely productive. In 2014, he played in all but three games and rushed for 1,245 yards and eight touchdowns as he averaged 4.8 yards per carry. He caught 38 passes that season for 327 yards and five touchdowns.
The two times that Foster has played in all 16 games, he's rushed for 1,424 yards in 2012 and 1,616 yards in 2010.The two times that Foster has played in all 16 games, he's rushed for 1,424 yards in 2012 and 1,616 yards in 2010.
The Texans and Dolphins essentially traded running backs without actually making a formal trade.
“I don’t have anything to prove to anybody,": Foster said. "The time that I spent in Houston was an amazing time. I’m grateful for the people I’ve met and the family that I made there. My family lives there now, so I have nothing but love for the people and fans in Houston. It is just a new chapter of my life.
"There’s nothing that I have to prove. I’m pretty sure Lamarfeels the same way. There is nothing he has to prove. We are all on our own personal journey helping out where we can and doing what we love to do. It’s as simple as that.”
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.