HOUSTON - OCTOBER 09: Outside linebacker Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans during game action in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Reliant Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
One big free agent name that has been connected to the Patriots in recent weeks is Houston Texans defensive end / outside linebacker Mario Williams. While Williams is undoubtedly one of the most prolific defenders in the league, the main issue surrounding a Williams-Patriots union likely would be Williams' large price tag. According to some reports, Williams is expected to get more than $45 million in guaranteed money. That being said, Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald recently took to Twitter to provide Patriots fans with an update on the Williams-Patriots connection:
Just inquired to another source about the possibility of the Patriots and DE/OLB Mario Williams striking a deal. And the words were "doubt it." As in, the Patriots won't want to sign him today, preferring to wait and see how the market develops. Williams may move quickly and jump at a huge deal. That would seem to knock the Pats out. But they will look into it and see what they can do.
Certainly interesting, but not anything unexpected. This sounds quite familiar to the Julius Peppers situation from two years ago. While I'm sure the Patriots would love to have a guy such as Williams in the fold, they have to consider the side effects that would come along with signing such a high profile free agent (and committing so much money to the defensive line, especially when considering Vince Wilfork's contract).