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Robinson ends holdout, signs deal Texans had been offering all along

HOUSTON -- Dunta Robinson and the Houston Texans were moving ahead Sunday after the star cornerback ended his holdout and signed the one-year deal the team had been offering all along.

He took his physical early in the morning, then worked out for coaches.

"I feel like being a rookie all over again," Robinson said. "I walked in here and all the guys they welcomed me with open arms with a lot of high-fives and a lot of hugs. It's good to be back."

Coach Gary Kubiak said there was no animosity even though Robinson held out for the entire training camp.

"It's very positive," Kubiak said. "I'm just excited to have him back.

"I'm fine with it. I understand the business and I understand what he went through. I understand all that. That's over. It's time to go play football."

Robinson balked when the team placed the franchise tag on him last February, saying he wanted more than the $9.957 million that came with the designation.

"I did what I felt I had to do," he said. "I didn't get what I wanted, but I'm here and I'm ready to go. Things don't always work out in your favor. But you can let people know that this is how it's going to be. I didn't get what I wanted, but now I just have to prove it on the field."

Kubiak said he expects Robinson to play in the season opener against the New York Jets in Reliant Stadium next Sunday, but he couldn't say how much.

"We put him through a little conditioning this morning," Kubiak said. "If he's where I think he is and he tells me he is, then he'll be right back on the field here Tuesday and ready to go. He'll play his spot and we'll see how much he can handle.

"It's up to him to basically show us how he his physically, how far he can come in this next week. I don't think you're looking at a player who's going to go out and play 60 or 70 plays. But whether or not he'll be there on game day, we'll see. He'll let us know by how he practices."

Besides training camp, Robinson missed all the Texans' offseason workouts. But he said he had been working out "four or five hours" a day in Florida and thought he was ready to play.

"I felt pretty good today," Robinson said. "I'm just going to take it day by day and see how I feel leading up to Sunday.

"I feel that I'll be ready to go."

Robinson says he has had nothing but positive feedback from his teammates.

"There are no hard feelings," Robinson said. "It's the belly of the beast. It's a business. Sometimes we push things too far in certain situations, but everything is back to normal.

"I missed these guys and they missed me."

His teammates didn't seem to mind Robinson missing the grueling preseason workouts.

"My main feeling is jealousy," offensive tackle Eric Winston said. "We're glad to have him back. Just having back a premier guy like that is invaluable to your team.

"Dunta's a good guy and he's a hard worker, so it's always nice to have guys like that around. The more you have guys like that around, the more contagious it is for the young guys."

The Texans career leader in interceptions (13) missed five games recovering from knee surgery last year. When he returned to the starting lineup, they went 5-1 down the stretch.

"I learned a lot from him last year so it's especially good to have him back," cornerback Antwaun Molen said. "It's just a business. As players, you know that so everyone is just excited to have him back. He's a great player and it's good to see him here."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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