Texans LT Duane Brown officially holding out for new deal

The Houston Texans are opening training camp without stalwart left tackle Duane Brown, who made his holdout official by not reporting.

This isn’t surprising. Brown skipped OTAs due to this contract dispute, and we expect he’ll hold out for a while this summer, too.

Originally a first-round pick by Houston out of Virginia Tech back in 2008, Brown was immediately a starter at left tackle. Since his rookie campaign, he’s been remarkably resilient, starting 132 games. Additionally, Brown has been very good at his job, earning three Pro Bowl nods and First-team All-Pro honors in 2012. Last year, he was rated No. 17 in the NFL by Pro Football Focus with a grade of 84.6.

Set to earn $7 million in base salary, Brown is in the middle of a six-year deal worth $53.4 million. His average salary of $8.9 million ranks No. 16 in the NFL, and after this year only $2.5 million is guaranteed.

So it’s easy to see why Brown wants a new deal. Whether he gets one is a different matter altogether, and it’s one we’ll be watching with great interest. The Texans obviously need him back in the fold for the regular season, but it’s not that big a big deal if the nine-year veteran isn’t around for training camp or the preseason.