Last season, Johnathan Joseph hadn't really given much thought to the fact that the final year of his contract, 2015 was looming.
"Obviously, the closer you get to that moment, the more you start to realize 'this is the last year of my contract,'" Joseph said on Tuesday's Texans All Access show. "Once OTAs and minicamp started, they called my representatives to let them know they wanted to get something done. That kind of hit home. Then it just kind of took off on both sides wanting to get something done."
The initial talks began even before the NFL Draft, according to Joseph. There wasn't much he could do as far as the negotiations were concerned so he kept himself occupied with football. He put his head down and did what he knew best – he worked.
"I just stayed out of it and let my agent and the team handle those things and I just continued to go to work, doing my job, going to OTAs and the offseason program and just showing what I'm capable of doing," Joseph said. "I think that helped also."
Joseph, now entering his tenth NFL season and fifth with the Texans, started all 16 games last year and finished with a career-best 75 tackles. He also had two interceptions, including a career long 60-yard return for a touchdown, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and 11 passes defensed. In fact, Joseph now leads all active players in the NFL with 128 passes defensed.
For the two-time Pro Bowler, he's happy to be back for a few more seasons. He's looking forward to continuing his career with the recently re-signed Kareem Jackson for a fifth-consecutive season as the team's starting cornerbacks. The 31-year-old attributes his success in Houston to not only his efforts, but those of his teammates and surroundings.
"A lot of hard work goes into it – hard work, sacrifice, a lot of those things," Joseph said. "At the same time, just being in a great environment, being on a winning team, having great teammates, and just being around the same guys I think that all took part too. I think it helped me be comfortable here at home and getting to play to the best of my abilities. Obviously, all those things played into it and having Kareem, that had an effect also."