Texans' Zach Cunningham returns to work after skipping preseason game

Texans starting linebacker Zach Cunninghamreturned to work Monday.

Cunningham, the NFL's leading tackler last season, chose to skip the Texans' preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as practices late last week.

Texans coach David Culley characterized the absence as "personal reasons," and affirmed Monday that Cunningham was back at practice Monday.

The Texans restructured Cunningham's four-year, $58 million contract this offseason, accounting that lowered his salary-cap figure this year from $11.4 million to $5.767 million, according to NFL Players Association documents and league sources not authorized to speak publicly.

The Texans converted Cunningham's $8.5 million fully guaranteed base salary into a $7.51 million signing bonus and lowered his salary to $990,000 to add $5.63 million in salary cap space this year.

The leading tackler in the NFL last season, Cunningham was paid a $12 million signing bonus last year on a deal that includes $33.574 million total guaranteed.

Cunningham's $14.5 million annual average compensation ranks him third among inside linebackers in the league behind Bobby Wagner and C.J. Mosley.

In 2022, Cunningham is due a $10 million guaranteed base salary with a salary-cap figure of $14.777 million salary-cap figure

In 2023, Cunningham is due a $11 million nonguaranteed base salary with a $15,777 million salary-cap figure.

In 2024, the final year of his contract, Cunningham is due a $12.5 million nonguaranteed base salary with a $17.277 million salary-cap figure.

Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.

Baltimore Ravens v Houston Texans

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