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Arian Foster says $43.5 million deal won't change him

Arian Foster is a rarity among young running backs in that he was fortunate enough to score a big-money contract this offseason. The Houston Texans workhorse signed a five-year, $43.5 million deal in March, but don't expect the greenbacks to change the man.

"Money reveals you," Foster told Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com on Wednesday. "I think it'll bring out the philanthropist in me, the person I want to be who gives back. I'll make sure my family’s future is secured. I'm not one to buy a car or chains and jewelry -- not anything against those guys who do; to each his own.

"But that's just not my style. I'm more about building a future and foundation for myself and bettering my community."

We tend to believe that's true. The past three seasons have marked a heady ascent for Foster, largely anonymous before his 1,616-yard breakout campaign in 2010. Now situated as the AFC South's team to beat, the Texans are gambling Foster will remain the same whirlwind he was over the past two seasons. Off the field, he comes across as grounded and intelligent, routinely engaging his fans on Twitter and eager to challenge the image of the "dumb jock," riffing on everything from geopolitics to the nature of the soul.

Teammate Brian Cushing believes the Texans made a wise investment, telling ESPN "money doesn't motivate" Foster. It might not motivate Matt Forte, either, but landing a Foster-sized deal would rank up there with stumbling over the Ark of the Covenant for the Chicago Bears runner, who is just one of many young backs learning how reluctant NFL teams are to reward the position. Foster's out to prove it should be a common practice.

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