It seems unlikely that the Houston Texans can retain Mario Williams. Williams has big money looking to be paid to him and their salary cap could be in a hole even if they franchise-tag the pass-rusher.

Many rumors have him going other places, such as the New York Jets. The Jets and Rex Ryan have been looking for an elite pass-rusher to fit their solid 3-4 scheme. They are just a few fixes away from actually being a solid Super Bowl contending squad.

However, the rival Tennessee Titans look like they could make a strong bid for the former first-overall pick.

FootballOutsiders.com's Rivers McCown says the Titans are in big need of a pass-rusher after struggling on defense last season.
"When Jason Babin joined former Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn in defecting to the Eagles, the Titans' adjusted sack rate fell from 13th in the NFL in 2010 to second-to-last in 2011. Moreover, only two teams generated fewer quarterback hits from their top pass rusher than the six the Titans had from Dave Ball: the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills."
McCown says the Titans big target could in fact just be Mario Williams. It looks like their other options, like Cliff Avril and Calais Campbell, are off their list as it looks like it is most likely they will return to their old homes.

As for the Texans, it seems like they wouldn't mind letting Mario go. They finished strong without him, but it is still a huge guy to lose. Honestly, don't be surprised if the Texans don't end up signing him.

As for Tennessee, their chances do look strong. Look for them to try to bring Mario here and make a strong push for him. Even though he is coming off an injured-filled season, he was a huge contributor even in five games, as he was able to produce five sacks.

Williams will get paid a lot of money, but if the Titans have to overpay him, look for Williams to be heading to another organization instead. Here's what ESPN's AFC South blogger, Paul Kuharsky, says:
"Don't get carried away with the 'plenty of cash' concept. Between $30-35 million available, but a good share of that money has to fund Cortland Finnegan or a replacement, two starting safeties (Michael Griffin, Chris Hope, and Jordan Babineaux are gone or need to be re-signed), a starting guard (Jake Scott's gone) and a defensive linemen (either Jason Jones or his replacement). If that lineman is Williams, that's a big chunk of that money. Yes, they can afford him. But Williams will be overpaid. And the Titans don't generally say, 'We're willing to overpay in order to get Player X.' They generally go find Player Y instead."
All of this is interesting. Where do you think Mario Williams ends up? 
Written by Josh Dhani, Founder (Archive/RSS)

Josh has been writing since 2009 and founded FootBasket in April 2009. He also owns the website, Hardcourt Mayhem. For a full bio, check out JoshDhani.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshDhani


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