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Can the Houston Texans afford to keep Ben Tate?

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Arian Foster will earn at least $17.5 million this season. His backfield partner, Ben Tate -- the NFL's most prolific backup in 2011 -- will take in just $490,000.

This after Tate produced 942 rushing yards last season, only 290 fewer than Foster.

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They're arguably the league's most dangerous tandem of runners, but if Tate posts another big campaign, the Texans might find themselves in a tough spot. Tate has made no demands, but it's unlikely the team can afford to keep both long term.

"I can't answer that," Tate told the Houston Chronicle.

"But this is where I'm at right now, and this is where I'm going to focus all my efforts. When I get (the football), I've got to make the best of it. I can't worry about how many times I get the ball. If I get it twice, I've got to make something happen twice. I've got to keep my head down, my nose to the (grindstone) and keep working. I can't worry about anything else."

Tate admits he "definitely" thinks about the money, but insists there's no bitterness toward Foster. We wouldn't be surprised if Tate is less charitable with the Texans over a rookie contract that will earn him just north of $1 million over the next two seasons. It's a nice problem for Houston -- for now.

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