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Texans still have 50-50 shot at keeping Mario Williams

Mario Williams,  Ben Roethlisberger AP

When the Texans didn’t apply the franchise tag last Monday to linebacker Mario Williams, many assumed that the first pick in the 2006 draft would soon be picking his next team.  While that may indeed be the case, the Texans aren’t out of the hunt to keep Williams, yet.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that, as of right now, there’s a 50-50 chance that Williams will remain with the Texans.

The next 24 hours will give a more clear picture.  Within 24 hours or so after that, Williams will be free to leave.

It would have cost the Texans a whopping $22 million in 2012 to keep Williams around under the franchise tag.  It could cost twice that amount, maybe more, in guaranteed money to sign him to a long-term deal.

The bigger question for the Texans is whether Williams is a luxury the team can afford.  The Texans’ new 3-4 defense performed well after Williams was lost for the season in Week Five.  The money needed to keep Williams arguably would be better spent elsewhere.

With passing offenses taking over the league, the pendulum will swing to cornerbacks and defensive ends.  Some 4-3 team that has to contend twice per season with a 4,000-yard (or, as the case may be, 5,000-yard) quarterback could see Williams as the way to hold those numbers down.

Then there’s the fact that a team may be willing to overspend on Williams in order to generate the kind of offseason buzz that sells tickets and jerseys and hats and draws attention in the home market and nationally.  That’s a premium that a franchise committed to building a long-term contender may not want to pay.

So while the Texans still have a good chance to keep him, chances are that he’ll be holding up come Tuesday night or Wednesday a new jersey, in a new city.

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56 Responses to “Texans still have 50-50 shot at keeping Mario Williams”
  1. berniemadoffsides says: Mar 11, 2012 12:29 PM

    Pats.

  2. The Buffer Zone says: Mar 11, 2012 12:29 PM

    The Ravens would never reach that far since they do have some decent options at DE, but it would be wild to see Terrell Suggs and Mario Williams pushing off the edges together.

  3. cali49er707 says: Mar 11, 2012 12:32 PM

    So while the Texans still have a good chance to keep him, chances are that he’ll be holding up come Tuesday night or Wednesday a new jersey, in a new city.

    read carefully jets/giants fan
    this does not mean he is going to your teams

  4. oldbyrd says: Mar 11, 2012 12:33 PM

    TEXANS

  5. beastup22 says: Mar 11, 2012 12:34 PM

    Mario is not a good OLB. He is not going to stay in Houston, he will be playing DE on some 4-3 team.

  6. sportsmeccabi says: Mar 11, 2012 12:37 PM

    Probably the only smart draft choice Charlie Casserly ever made. I have a hard time listening to that guy and his terrible analysis.

  7. katrinasafterbirth says: Mar 11, 2012 12:37 PM

    He’ll be in Denver with Manning. He was thinking of going to Washington, but he decided that he wants to play for a winner, instead of the last remaining Mayan – Dan Snyder.

  8. chadgoy says: Mar 11, 2012 12:39 PM

    Some team can give Mario $20 mil a year, and it won’t even be close to what the Redskins gave for the #2 pick (3 1sts and a 2nd OUCH).

  9. Grinds My Gear says: Mar 11, 2012 12:39 PM

    In my opinion, if Manning lands in the AFC West look for the Raiders or Chargers to aggressively go after Williams.

  10. edusregis says: Mar 11, 2012 12:40 PM

    We can’t afford him in Detroit, but we want him!

  11. durant0s says: Mar 11, 2012 12:40 PM

    As a Texans fan I will always back us up on the fact that he was the best choice of the three for us (Mario, VY, or Reggie). That being said I think it would be a mistake to give him a bunch more money now, even with the cap # jumping up in a few seasons. We have to worry Conner Barwin, Brian Cushing, Duane Brown, J.J. Watt (sooner then later), and many others. To pay huge money to Mario who right now is a luxury to us would be a huge mistake. Also he’s had season ending injuries twice now and in the beginning of his career had Planters Fasciitis problems all the time. The past 3 seasons the Texans have started doing a way better job of drafting (i.e. Cushing, Barwin, Watt, Reed) and making strategic FA signings (i.e. Antonio Smith, Daniel Manning, Jonathon Joseph). I think we should keep doing what were doing, just draft really well too keep the team young and don’t go crazy in FA, just get the guy who fits.

    After the very 1st game 3 seasons ago when Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez (both first NFL game in there new positions) came into Reliant and laid a beat down on us I was done with Kubiak and Rick Smith. It’s almost unimaginable what a couple good drafts and the addition of a true defensive coordinator can do for a team already on the verge.

  12. texan1979 says: Mar 11, 2012 12:40 PM

    Mario says he wants to stay. Just depends how much money hes willing to give up. He knows Texans are close to a super bowl team

  13. empireredd says: Mar 11, 2012 12:43 PM

    BILLS

  14. dagroovydude116 says: Mar 11, 2012 12:44 PM

    That’s right, baby. Come to Buffalo so I can buy a nice M. Williams and K. Williams jersey pair.

  15. bonecity7 says: Mar 11, 2012 12:45 PM

    I’d love to see Williams on the Pats, but I just can’t see it happening. It’s just not the Pats MO to invest what it will take to land Mario in free-agency. Their style is to find cost-efficient veterans that fill roles in their schemes.

    Seau, Harrison, Haynesworth, Carter….etc. (I’m not suggesting that they strike gold every time with this approach!!)

    They chose not to keep Richard Seymour for big bucks, I doubt they’ll spend them on a free agent.

  16. seatownballers says: Mar 11, 2012 12:50 PM

    Come to seattle! We have the guaranteed money and long term contract you are looking for

  17. dalyman3 says: Mar 11, 2012 12:52 PM

    Giants should get this guy. Their defense would be insane.

  18. keepyerstickontheice says: Mar 11, 2012 12:54 PM

    What? He’s going to New Jersey?

    Jersey A or Jersey B?
    :)

  19. pilot2011 says: Mar 11, 2012 12:54 PM

    come home Mario! I seen ya in Raleigh all the time cruisin in your Lambo… Maybe the Panthers can move some money around and bring you in somehow

  20. snikerbotloot says: Mar 11, 2012 12:55 PM

    He’s gone. I’m hearing from people in Houston he’s been on a buying spree recently, purchasing a Lamborghini & a Ferrari – he’s getting paid and he knows it.

  21. dabearsk says: Mar 11, 2012 12:59 PM

    Even though you will have to change ur number, the bears have a spot for you along with a couple of bucks!

  22. i10east says: Mar 11, 2012 1:01 PM

    JAGUARS!!!

  23. kegrun says: Mar 11, 2012 1:02 PM

    Welcome to Atlanta Mario. Nolan is gonna love ya!

  24. jagsfanugh says: Mar 11, 2012 1:03 PM

    Jaguars

  25. geo1113 says: Mar 11, 2012 1:04 PM

    “there’s a 50-50 chance that Williams will remain with the Texans.”

    “So while the Texans still have a good chance to keep him, chances are that he’ll be holding up come Tuesday night or Wednesday a new jersey, in a new city.”
    ———————

    Sounds like it really isn’t 50-50.

  26. galvestontexans says: Mar 11, 2012 1:04 PM

    Super Mario it was fun while it lasted

  27. EJ says: Mar 11, 2012 1:06 PM

    Lined up with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus, Mario Williams would for sure break the single season sack record. Buffalo can’t afford to put all of their money into one guy, though it would be nice!

    I see either the Chiefs(if they don’t land Manning) or the Chargers(if they don’t retain Jackson) as a landing spot for Mario.

  28. cordellgc says: Mar 11, 2012 1:06 PM

    the bengals have to spend money on someone, add Mario draft the corner from Alabama and the gaurd from Stanford in the first,get the rb from Miami in the 2nd, Cincinnati is, dare I say it..contenders

  29. gmsalpha says: Mar 11, 2012 1:10 PM

    dagroovydude116 says: Mar 11, 2012 12:44 PM

    That’s right, baby. Come to Buffalo so I can buy a nice M. Williams and K. Williams jersey pair.

    **************

    You realize you can get custom jerseys, right? I can buy a Patriots jersey with Manning on the back and number 18 if I want.

  30. bucrightoff says: Mar 11, 2012 1:20 PM

    If the Bills want to actually spend the money he’d be a great fit there.

  31. phelbin says: Mar 11, 2012 1:20 PM

    I read some speculation that the 49ers are saving up their cap space and may try to make a big splash like signing Mario Williams. It’s not going to happen, but how scary would that defense be? That would be 1985 Bears level scary!

    Mario Williams and Aldon Smith on the outside, and Navarro Bowman and Patrick Willis in the inside. *Shudder*

  32. elchapoguzman82 says: Mar 11, 2012 1:24 PM

    And that city is the Emerald City!

  33. CKL says: Mar 11, 2012 1:30 PM

    This is why having great coaches matter more now in the FA/cap era than before it. They can lose a guy with the talent of Williams to injury most of the year and they STILL had an awesome defense last year. Having Wade Phillips makes the thought of losing Williams much more palatable for Hou.

  34. cali49er707 says: Mar 11, 2012 1:35 PM

    phelbin says:
    Mar 11, 2012 1:20 PM
    I read some speculation that the 49ers are saving up their cap space and may try to make a big splash like signing Mario Williams. It’s not going to happen, but how scary would that defense be? That would be 1985 Bears level scary!

    Mario Williams and Aldon Smith on the outside, and Navarro Bowman and Patrick Willis in the inside. *Shudder*

    thats one heck of a pipe dream, i know the tree is good in cali but, DAMN

  35. stephdavis0828 says: Mar 11, 2012 1:40 PM

    As a die hard Texans fan, I would love nothing more than to have Mario continue his career in a Texans uniform. However, it is virtually impossible to do so. We can’t offer him the money he will get elsewhere. In order for us to sign Arian Foster he had to give the home town discount. He could have made way more guaranteed money on the open market. With this year being the last year on D. Brown, C. Barwin, and M. Schaub’s contracts. Plus B. Cushing will be restricted next year. But more pressing will still need to sign our center C. Myers this year. So I don’t see the Texans mortgaging the future for one player. With the money saved from not signing Mario, we could extended D. Brown and sign C. Myers. That will sure up the offensive line. Then next off season worry about Matt Schaub. Mario has been great but he can be seen as a priority with all of these other pressing issues.

  36. passosvilla says: Mar 11, 2012 1:46 PM

    If Mario leaves (i think that’s gonna happen) the Texans need to get a WR at the free agency and get a OLB in the first or second round of the draft.

  37. 7thlombardiontheway says: Mar 11, 2012 2:09 PM

    The Steelers don’t want this bum or his bum knee.

  38. bigswifty74 says: Mar 11, 2012 2:36 PM

    Imagine Jabaal Sheard on one side, Mario Williams on the other, and Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin in the middle. I can’t think of any quarterback (or any O-line, for that matter) who would look forward to facing that line.

  39. yahmule says: Mar 11, 2012 2:49 PM

    Once the Broncos sign Manning, Mario Williams will be the next domino to fall. Bowlen has already told Peyton they’ll be going all in for the Super Bowl.

  40. scottysayz66 says: Mar 11, 2012 2:52 PM

    I don’t get all the hype surrounding Mario Williams. He’s proven to be a slightly above average player for his first six years in the league. In those years, he has had 53 sacks. So he’s going to become the highest defensive FA in NFL history and he doesn’t even avg 10 sacks a year? On top of that, the only thing he’s proven recently is that he has durability issues.

    The Texans would be wise to spend that money on re signing C Meyers, #2 TE Dreesen, finding a legit #2 WR who can stretch the field , and getting some depth at OLB to replace Williams. A safety wouldn’t hurt either because personally I think Quinn is too small. Obviously, some of those can be addressed via the draft, but you get the drift.

  41. howmanyringsyourteamgot says: Mar 11, 2012 3:01 PM

    @phelbin

    Put the blunt down, Niners re-signed Ahmad Brooks and Mario Williams doesn’t play WR

  42. txndave says: Mar 11, 2012 3:18 PM

    NOOOOOOO!!!!!!
    Don’t do it Rick!!!
    NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  43. damcghee says: Mar 11, 2012 3:20 PM

    Save the dough and let him go! Save the dough and let him go! the Texans have never been overly bright….get hgung up on reputations real or imagined…Bosselli/Carr/Green players who could not play for one reason or the other. For what Mario will cost the could get a real OLB and a WR….Jacoby Jones sucks, Walter is limited and A Johnson is over the hill!!!

  44. boilerup1869 says: Mar 11, 2012 3:33 PM

    hey, at least the texans didn’t take reggie bush

  45. pacodawg says: Mar 11, 2012 3:42 PM

    BREAKING NEWS! The Teaxan have a 50/50 shot of NOT resigning Williams!

  46. isuhuskie says: Mar 11, 2012 3:48 PM

    You keep hearing more and more that the Bears may make a play. They won’t enter a bidding war for V Jackson or Colston. They’ll go after a second tier WR and get another one in the draft.

  47. ronniemexico says: Mar 11, 2012 4:25 PM

    “Some 4-3 team that has to contend twice per season with a 4,000-yard (or, as the case may be, 5,000-yard) quarterback could see Williams as the way to hold those numbers down.”

    1. Bears run a 4 – 3 defense
    2. Rodgers threw for 4,643 Yards
    3. Stafford threw for 5,038 yards
    4. Bears play the Packers and Lions twice each.

    With Chicago under the cap by $30 million, Phil Emery better sign this dude! Peppers and Williams will be unstoppable.

  48. sirdrinksalot says: Mar 11, 2012 5:11 PM

    Welcome to the Buffalo Bills super Mario. We are glad to have you.

  49. theripster30 says: Mar 11, 2012 5:33 PM

    Aren’t you guys supposed to be ‘experts’ or something? This story teaches me nothing that wasn’t already common knowledge. He might stay/leave. Great.

  50. beardown2489 says: Mar 11, 2012 5:33 PM

    Why is everyone in Buffalo convinced Mario is coming North? I like buffalo and all but not the kind of place FA’s are looking to go.
    He’ll chase one of three things. Warm Weather, Big Money, or Super Bowl Contender.

    I don’t think the Bills will not offer up any of these. I don’t know their cap situation but it just doesn’t seem like them.

  51. beardown2489 says: Mar 11, 2012 5:34 PM

    I used a double negative there…ooopsies

  52. ajtexans says: Mar 11, 2012 5:56 PM

    “Probably the only smart draft choice Charlie Casserly ever made.”

    Don’t keep fooling yourselves with this. Casserly was on his way out the door in late April ’06 (he “resigned” in May ’06) and no NFL team gives a Dead GM Walking full authority on their draft – especially when he’s headed out the door. Casserly provided input, yes, but final say? No Way.

  53. ajtexans says: Mar 11, 2012 6:14 PM

    Allow me address a few more of these comments:

    1. Bills? Jags? Bengals? >>> Ummm… No. If he leaves, it’s going to be to a deep-run playoff contender, especially if you factor in cold weather city.

    2. “If Mario leaves (i think that’s gonna happen) the Texans need to get a WR at the free agency” >>> The Texans have no cap space to sign their own players, much less anyone else’s

    3. “The Steelers don’t want this bum or his bum knee.” >>> Mario’s injury problems the past two season have included a torn pectoral muscle and a severe sports hernia that required surgery. Both IR injuries. No knee problems.

    4. “Mario is not a good OLB.” >>> In Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense, the Will rushes the passer and plays run about 90% of the time. Mario rarely drops into coverage. The Texans 3-4 is more like a 5-2. That said, I also think Mario is a better 4-3 DE.

    5. “I’m hearing from people in Houston he’s been on a buying spree recently, purchasing a Lamborghini & a Ferrari – he’s getting paid and he knows it.” >>> Mario already got his. He was a #1 overall pick remember? He’s already banked 60 million and said himself that it’s not all about the money this time around (and that’s true). This is at least his second Lamborghini by the way.

  54. thesportsguy13 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:25 PM

    Wouldn’t mind seeing him in a steelers jersey but that’s a hefty price tag for a guy with injury problems…when healthy he’s a beast tho

  55. gobills716 says: Mar 11, 2012 8:31 PM

    shuffle off to Buffalo

  56. jagwar73 says: Mar 12, 2012 1:36 AM

    Jags will overpay and get him. And he will be worth it! Go Jags!

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