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NFL notes: Texans LB Brian Cushing receives contract extension

Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has signed a six-year contract extension.

A person familiar with negotiations confirmed the deal Tuesday night. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not made an announcement.

The deal is worth $55.6 million, with $21 million guaranteed.

Cushing was in the last year of the deal he signed as a rookie in 2009. The 26-year-old linebacker returned to the field this summer after sustaining a season-ending knee injury in Week 5 of last season.

Cushing, the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009, has had more than 110 tackles in the two seasons when he played each game. The Texans are hoping he is as effective as he was before the injury, when he finished with 114 tackles and four sacks in 2011.

The Texans expect him to start in the opener Monday at San Diego.

Around the league

The Saints brought back receiver Robert Meachem, shortly after his release by the Chargers, then placed linebacker Jonathan Vilma on injured reserve, designated to return this season. … Four former NFL players have sued the league and its helmet maker, claiming they hid information about the dangers of brain injury. The ex-players – Jimmy Williams, Rich Mauti, Jimmy Keyes and Nolan Franz – filed the federal lawsuit in New Orleans on Sunday. … Former first-round draft pick Danny Watkins says he’s grateful for a fresh start with the Dolphins after being cut by the Eagles. Watkins signed a $555,000, one-year contract with Miami and joined the team Tuesday. … The Cowboys have acquired defensive end Caesar Rayford from the Colts. … The Browns have reached agreement on a contract with former Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff. … Champ Bailey suited up for practice only to sit out. The Broncos Pro Bowl cornerback stepped on the field Tuesday wearing his cleats and helmet, but didn’t participate in the session. His availability for the season opener Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens remains uncertain due to a tender left foot. … Steelers running back Isaac Redman spent most of the preseason on the bench as a precaution after tweaking his neck during practice. That didn’t stop coach Mike Tomlin from making Redman the starter for Sunday’s season opener against Tennessee. … Kicker Dan Carpenter has finally landed a job after signing with the Bills. The team announced the signing after rookie kicker Dustin Hopkins was hurt in practice.