Houston Texans: Ka’imi Fairbairn’s raise makes him among highest-paid

Houston Texans placekicker Ka'imi Fairbairn (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Houston Texans placekicker Ka'imi Fairbairn (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Houston Texans placekicker Ka’imi Fairbairn has just inked a brand-new deal that puts him among the highest-paid kickers in the NFL. What’s up?

Deals, deals, deals…that’s the name of the game Houston Texans’ fans and we’ve seen a lot of them over the past few days since free agency opened up this past Wednesday.  They’re preparing for the upcoming season and the draft is on final approach which will occur approximately one month from today.

But as the franchise gears up for that, we can certainly focus on the guys that they’ve added to the roster.

Since Wednesday, the Houston Texans have signed free agents Randall Cobb, Eric Murray, Brent Qvale and Jaylen Watkins.

The trade of DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for David Johnson and a second-round pick is also official as well.

The aforementioned sentence made my blood boil when typing it out by the way…

They’ve also re-signed Bradley Roby, Vernon Hargreaves, Tyrell Adams, Phillip Gaines, Roderick Johnson, A.J. McCarron; and last but far from the least, tenured long-snapper Jon Weeks.

These guys will help shape up the roster for 2020 and although I have my concerns in regard to bringing back Gaines, my hopes are pinned on him for a bounce-back.  Quite honestly, he wasn’t playing all that well before they shut him down for the season with surgery to his ankle.

But the most intriguing pact that was put together was for Fairbairn, who recently agreed to a four-year, $17.6 million deal that puts him among the highest-paid kickers in the league with his average salary around $4.4M per season.

This puts him third among kickers behind the heavily-experienced and always-reliable Robbie Gould ($4.8M) as well as the indestructible Justin Tucker ($5M).

Had you asked me the question of Fairbairn deserving a contract extension at the beginning of 2019, I would’ve thought that you were a damn fool and probably have your head examined.

But the outlier to his improvement was that he had to get on the same page with punter Bryan Anger, who had replaced the ousted Trevor Daniel meaning that their timing was a bit off.  Anger’s three-year, $8.25 million deal that he signed back in January is now in close alignment with his counterpart.

For what it’s worth mentioning, Fairbairn was missing extra points, field goals and at one point it

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felt like the only thing he was actually making was the team bus for road trips.

But he turned it around about mid-November and had been money through the playoffs, including the game-winning kick in overtime over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card game.  It was a 28-yarder and was a terrific follow-up to Deshaun Watson‘s shake-and-bake, arguably one of the best I’ve ever seen out of a quarterback, period.

At that moment, that’s when he EARNED his new deal, putting all of the inadequacies of the past behind him and barreling toward the future.

If he keeps this up, he’ll be at the forefront of the special teams unit for quite some time but if things sour, which I think it won’t with him, the Houston Texans have a potential out after the 2021 season where they can cut him with a $1.5 million hit to their salary cap.

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So congrats to Ka’imi and I wish him nothing but the best in the future…

Fairbairn, 26, went 20-for-25 on field goals (80 percent) and 40-of-45 on extra points (88.9 percent) back in 2019.