Ryan Kang/Getty Images

Nico Collins, Texans Agree to New $72.75M Contract After Breakout Season with Stroud

Joseph Zucker

Wide receiver Nico Collins was richly rewarded for his breakout season in 2023, agreeing to a three-year contract that will pay him a maximum of $75 million.

Adam Schefter of ESPN spoke to Collins' agents, who confirmed the extension, which includes $52 million guaranteed.

Dianna Russini of The Athletic first reported the agreement on Tuesday.

That represents a significant pay raise over his $3.1 million base salary for the 2024 season and one he deserved on the basis of last year.

In 15 games, the 2021 third-round pick caught 80 passes for 1,297 yards and eight touchdowns. His 86.5 yards per game were the seventh-highest in the NFL.

Collins had a nondescript start to his NFL career. Between 2021 and 2022, he had 927 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

But it didn't take long for Texans rookie C.J. Stroud to see he had a special target in the 6'4" pass-catcher.

"I said, 'You're a superstar,'" Stroud said to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan M. Alexander in reference to a conversation they had during offseason workouts. "I never even snapped the ball in the league, but I just know good receivers. I played where we have tremendous receivers. You see what they did. I told him my goal is to make you look as best as you can, to make you look like you."

For Collins, Stroud represented a massive upgrade over what he had to deal with during his first two years. Nobody in Houston will look fondly upon the Davis Mills era, and the benefits of finding a genuine franchise QB were apparent.

Having Stroud ball out so early—and helping lead the Texans to the playoffs no less—was big for the organization in another way.

General manager Nick Caserio could approach this offseason ready to spend with genuine belief the team can take a major step forward, and prospective free agents might have viewed the organization much differently compared to a year earlier.

Houston entered the offseason with some of the most salary-cap space in the league, a surplus that wasn't going to be allotted only to outside additions. Tying down some of the best players on the roster would be a priority, with Collins an obvious example.

In his case specifically, getting an agreement sooner rather than later was in the Texans' best interests.

Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson, who's eligible to hit free agency in 2025, is all but guaranteed to reset the receiver market if he signs a multiyear deal. That will have a domino effect with the Dallas Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb and Cincinnati Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase in line for new contracts eventually as well.

Collins' extension could look a little more team-friendly in a few years, and wringing whatever long-term savings he can will aid in Caserio's continued efforts toward maintaining a playoff-caliber squad.


Read 0 Comments

Download the app for comments Get the B/R app to join the conversation

Install the App
Bleacher Report