The Houston Texans signed fourth-year ILB Benardrick McKinney to a contract extension. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"Bernardrick plays a key role in our defense and has been highly productive, but more importantly he is a core player who has developed into a team leader within our program," said Texans General Manager Brian Gaine. "We are excited to have him a part of our long term future here at the Texans."
Drafted by Houston with the 11th pick of the second round (43rd overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State, McKinney, 25, has compiled 282 total tackles (176 solo), 9.0 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, 21 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and three passes defensed in 46 regular season games played (43 starts). He has also started all three playoff games since joining the Texans. McKinney (6-4, 260) logged a team-leading 95 total tackles (62 solo) along with 3.0 sacks, eight quarterback hits, a single-season career-high 10 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one pass defensed while starting all 16 games in 2017. Among all players with 3.0-or-more sacks last season, McKinney finished sixth in the NFL in total tackles.
In Week 2 at Cincinnati, McKinney compiled six total tackles (four solo), including three tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. He became just the fourth Texans linebacker and sixth player in team history to record six-or-more total tackles, three-or-more tackles for loss and 2.0-or-more sacks in a game. In Week 11 vs. Arizona, McKinney finished with a team-high nine total tackles (seven solo) and had two tackles for loss. It marked his sixth career game with multiple tackles for loss, including three in 2017. McKinney currently ranks 11th in Texans history in total career tackles and tied for ninth in career tackles for loss. In 2016, McKinney was the only player in the NFL and the second in Texans history with at least 100 total tackles and 5.0 sacks in a season (Jamie Sharper, 2002).
The Texans also signed T Martinas Rankin (6-5, 315) today and have now signed all eight members of their 2018 NFL Draft class. Rankin, 23, was selected with the 16th pick of the third round (80th overall) out of Mississippi State.
ILB Benardrick McKinney's career as a Texan and Mississippi State Bulldog is profiled here in pictures.