HOUSTON – When the Texans traded for veteran offensive guard Shaq Mason, they did so with the intention of upgrading their interior offensive line.
And they wanted to secure Mason’s blocking skills and leadership for more than one season.
Now, that goal has been achieved.
The Texans have agreed to terms on a three-year, $36 million contract extension in new money with an average of $12 million annually, a $10 million signing bonus, $22 million guaranteed of that with 61 percent of the total guaranteed with Mason now one of the highest paid offensive guards in the league, his agent, Deryk Gilmore, of Day 1 Sports and Entertainment, told KPRC 2.
The Texans acquired Mason and a seventh-round draft pick in a trade from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick earlier this offseason.
And Mason, 30, the replacement for A.J. Cann who was released after the trade, is already fitting into the Texans’ culture.
“I was happy when I found out it was here,” Mason said during his introductory press conference. “It was a happy feeling knowing that I would be here. I knew the system they were going to be running. New coach with a lot of energy. I think it was a perfect fit for me.”
Mason, 30, was with the New England Patriots and drafted in the fourth round from Georgia Tech when Texans general manager Nick Caserio was an executive in their personnel department.
Mason should be a good fit for the Kyle Shanahan West Coast offense the Texans are installing with new offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik.
Mason signed a five-year, $50 million extension with the Patriots then was traded to the Buccaneers last year for a fifth-round draft pick.
His deal was restructured last September. He started every game last season for the Buccaneers at right guard and was ranked 20th overall at his position by Pro Football Focus.
Mason (6-foot-1, 311 pounds) was due a $7.5 million base salary this year in the final year of his contract. He started every game last season and played every offensive snap. He was ranked 20th among all offensive guards by the analytics site, Pro Football Focus.
Bolstering the interior offensive line was a major goal for the Texans after allowing a lot of pressure up the middle last season.
Having a potential rookie starting quarterback in C.J. Stroud is another reason that Mason’s presence is welcomed.
“That’s the biggest thing I can do: protect him,” Mason said. “Rookie quarterbacks, there’s always a learning curve. I think he’ll be fine. Us five up front, we’re going to do our job and try to make his job as easy as possible.”
Joining the Texans and reuniting with Caserio and playing for new Texans coach DeMeco Ryans were pluses for Mason.
“I was happy when I found out it was here,” Mason said. “It was a happy feeling knowing that I would be here. I knew the system they were going to be running. New coach with a lot of energy. I think it was a perfect fit for me.”
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.