Contract Talk: Mario Williams
In this series we are going to look at the potential free agents of the Houston Texans, and figure out if they work into the plans for the coming years….
This is the domino that will set the rest of the Texans free agency signings into motion. Mario Williams has been with the Houston Texans since 2006 and has appeared in two Pro Bowls, (2008,2009) and accounted for 53 sacks in the 82 games he has appeared in.
Williams was one of the top defensive ends for the Texans, when the Texans team and defense were not so good-looking. He commands respect from opposing offenses when he is on the field, and rarely gets single blocked. In 6 games in 2011, Williams accounted for 6 sacks on raw ability. He, just like the rest of his teammates, were still learning the 3-4 system and he proved deadly in the system.
Which brings the next question, Williams’ health has been an issue the past two seasons,and looks like he might be a pass rusher with limited hard nose play, and are the Texans ready to sink in a hefty check for a pass rusher who might stick his nose into a ball carriers chest when needed?
One thing is for sure, when Williams is on the field, the Texans defense is that much better. Not taking anything away from the job Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed did for the Texans in 2011, but defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has already made it clear that he is thinking of getting all three, Williams, Barwin and Reed on the field at the same time. Williams actually increased the production of the likes of Antonio Smith when he was healthy. If Williams is on the field offenses have to pick who they are going to double or single block on every play. Just like offense, if the defense had more weapons to attack the offense it could be a fun thing to watch in 2012. If Williams is not priority #1 for the Texans, he should at least be in the top 3 for the Texans for free agency.
Williams has already made it clear he wants to stay here in Houston, and it has the feeling he wants to be apart of what the Texans are building. He has made plenty of money with his rookie contract, and to see if he gives the “hometown” discount will be great if it happens. The franchise tag is always an option, but $15 million plus is a little steep for one season. The Texans are faced with a serious dilemma for one of the hottest commodities in free agency this year.
Chance Returning to Houston: Williams stays in Houston, but other players not named Foster and Myers will have to find a new home.
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