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View Full Version : Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs


Marcus
03-11-2012, 01:18 PM
Link (http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexans/2012/03/solomon-texans-should-re-sign-mario-at-all-costs/)

Aggressive and smart beats passive and slow in virtually every sport known to man. On the fields, courts and in front offices.

The Texans were aggressive and smart last offseason.

What will their approach be this offseason following the franchise’s first division championship, first postseason appearance and first playoff victory?

They need to be aggressive and smart. Again.

The Texans should attack free agency just like they did last year. Intent on signing a difference-maker. That player just happens to have been on the roster for the past six years.

NFL free agency begins Tuesday. The Texans are fooling themselves if they believe they can lose linebacker/defensive end Mario Williams to the highest bidder and have a better team next season.

How real was their claim that signing Williams this offseason is a priority?

Andrew Brandt, who spent 10 years as vice president of the Green Bay Packers managing the salary cap and handling contract negotiations, says the free-agency period likely will be hectic for a couple of days.

“I think the market will be like it always is,” Brandt said. “In the first hours or days, we’ll see a pot of gold for the chosen few.”

Williams is among the chosen ones. He could fetch a contract to make him the highest-paid defender in the league.

When the NFL finally got around to free agency last summer, the Texans were desperate. They had a new defense to equip, a secondary to rebuild and a head coach facing a “win or else” mantra from the owner.

Bob McNair handed general manager Rick Smith the checkbook with authorization to spend money to get help.

Smith proved how aggressive and smart he can be by first going after Nnamdi Asomugha, the best cornerback available.

When a deal couldn’t be worked out, the GM quickly redirected his efforts and nabbed Johnathan Joseph, the second-best free agent at the position, and then snatched up Danieal Manning, one of the top safeties on the market and a perfect addition to the secondary.

Yes, it took Smith’s smarts, but don’t underestimate McNair’s loosening of the purse strings.

Williams is worth it

Because teams have a stranglehold on salary-cap discussions, fans and media often confuse budget constraints with salary-cap restraints.

If McNair is willing to write the check, Williams will re-sign with the Texans. Before you ask about Williams giving the Texans a hometown discount, ask yourself why professional owners never seem to offer a hometown bonus.

Signing Williams could be done without the Texans having to cut valuable players or lose other free agents. (The Texans can’t allow center Chris Myers, whose value has been understated, get away either.)

To get it done, McNair likely would have to go over his budget this season, something he hasn’t been willing to do in years past, and offer Williams more guaranteed money later in the deal.

Not that going over budget is always the smartest thing.

“I think the best-managed teams seem to have cap room every year,” said Brandt, a writer for the National Football Post and NFL business analyst for ESPN. “They pay as you go and don’t have a lot of unamortized signing bonuses.”

Spending to the cap and not above it is indeed prudent thinking, but is that the best thing for the Texans in their situation?

This is a team that is primed to win now. The Texans wouldn’t be trying to buy a championship a la the Dallas Cowboys in the last decade or the Washington Redskins throughout Daniel Snyder’s tenure as owner.

The Texans wouldn’t be loading up on high-priced free agents hoping they might mesh into a winner. This simply would be holding on to one of their best players.

Can you put a price tag on “short-term pain for long-term gain,” as Brandt described it? Do the Texans want to go to a Super Bowl or save money?

Last year was nice, but if a team isn’t getting better, it is getting worse. The AFC South should be easy, but the Texans should be thinking bigger.

The significant jump in salary cap in a couple of years is even more reason the Texans shouldn’t be so cautious with the owner’s money. They already have displayed some faintheartedness in not boldly going after Peyton Manning.

No guarantees

Don’t tell me that Brooks Reed, the rookie outside linebacker who solidly subbed for an injured Williams last season, will be much improved next year. Remember how much better Brian Cushing was supposed to be in his second season? Remember how much better Connor Barwin was supposed to be in his second season?

And don’t assume the Texans will be stingier defensively in their second year under Wade Phillips. In Phillips’ last five stops as defensive coordinator, his first team made the playoffs after not making it the season before. None of the teams fared as well the next season, with only one even making the playoffs.

There simply are no guarantees.

If the Texans plan on being better next season, re-signing Williams would be a good start.

EllisUnit
03-11-2012, 01:27 PM
wasnt barwin hurt in the first game his second season ???? i do however agree that we need to find a way to resign mario. Reed did do well last year but Mario is an athletic freak with his size and speed. Only question is can he ever stay healthy ?

jaayteetx
03-11-2012, 01:30 PM
wasnt barwin hurt in the first game his second season ???? i do however agree that we need to find a way to resign mario. Reed did do well last year but Mario is an athletic freak with his size and speed. Only question is can he ever stay healthy ?

Yep, he lost all credibility there, not that he had any.

TexanSam
03-11-2012, 02:59 PM
At all costs? No way. If another team offers him a ridiculous contract and he and his agent want the Texans to match it, then let him go.

Smart teams may have cap room every year, but smart teams also know when to not overpay. Losing Mario would be tough, but if the Texans want to be in the upper echelon of teams in the NFL for the first time ever, then they better draft well also to replace players. Losing top talent is part of being a good team. So is replacing that talent.

Playoffs
03-11-2012, 03:08 PM
At all costs? No way. If another team offers him a ridiculous contract and he and his agent want the Texans to match it, then let him go.

Smart teams may have cap room every year, but smart teams also know when to not overpay. Losing Mario would be tough, but if the Texans want to be in the upper echelon of teams in the NFL for the first time ever, then they better draft well also to replace players. Losing top talent is part of being a good team. So is replacing that talent.^This. :goodpost:

mussop
03-11-2012, 03:10 PM
That's it! It's official! Resigning Mario is a bad move.

Playoffs
03-11-2012, 04:01 PM
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. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/11/texans-still-have-50-50-shot-at-keeping-mario-williams/)


Florio's http://www.modacity.net/forums/styles/smilies/emot-airquote.gifsource is either McClain, Solomon, or "some guy on Twitter". :lol:

The Medic01
03-11-2012, 04:23 PM
wasnt barwin hurt in the first game his second season ???? i do however agree that we need to find a way to resign mario. Reed did do well last year but Mario is an athletic freak with his size and speed. Only question is can he ever stay healthy ?

I don't see a need for Mario at all. He just wasn't a big part of our success this year, at least not enough to make it a MUST to sign Mario.

SCOTTexans
03-11-2012, 05:31 PM
Mario does make the team better but he doesn't hold it up

I think we should be aggressive but not for defense, but on offense. 2010 showed the Achilles heel of our defense (they brought in strong players - Watt, reed, joesph, manning) and 2011 showed it for our offense were which is receiver depth.

Drafting a round 1 Receiver, and ill be happy. either (floyd,wright, rueben, or hill)

Quote from article
"Don’t tell me that Brooks Reed, the rookie outside linebacker who solidly subbed for an injured Williams last season, will be much improved next year. Remember how much better Brian Cushing was supposed to be in his second season? Remember how much better Connor Barwin was supposed to be in his second season?"

Why wouldn't he improve for this year? Look how much Cushing, Barwin improved from last yr!

ObsiWan
03-11-2012, 06:54 PM
Mario does make the team better but he doesn't hold it up

I think we should be aggressive but not for defense, but on offense. 2010 showed the Achilles heel of our defense (they brought in strong players - Watt, reed, joesph, manning) and 2011 showed it for our offense were which is receiver depth.

Drafting a round 1 Receiver, and ill be happy. either (floyd,wright, rueben, or hill)

Quote from article
"Don’t tell me that Brooks Reed, the rookie outside linebacker who solidly subbed for an injured Williams last season, will be much improved next year. Remember how much better Brian Cushing was supposed to be in his second season? Remember how much better Connor Barwin was supposed to be in his second season?"

Why wouldn't he improve for this year? Look how much Cushing, Barwin improved from last yr!

Cushing fell way off his second year. Maybe it was the month suspension. Maybe it was the switch in his "supplements". Maybe it was the dreaded sophomore slump. Assuming it was the latter, what would make Reed impervious to this occurrence. Opposing teams get film on rooks and dissect it for weaknesses.

Barwin got hurt very early in his second season. To say that his performance fell off is inaccurate. BUT, the bottom line is, he was hurt and of no use to us. ...just like some are saying about Mario.

Marcus
03-11-2012, 07:22 PM
Cushing fell way off his second year. Maybe it was the month suspension. Maybe it was the switch in his "supplements". Maybe it was the dreaded sophomore slump. Assuming it was the latter, what would make Reed impervious to this occurrence. Opposing teams get film on rooks and dissect it for weaknesses.

Barwin got hurt very early in his second season. To say that his performance fell off is inaccurate. BUT, the bottom line is, he was hurt and of no use to us. ...just like some are saying about Mario.

This +1.

And look how many people were injured besides Mario during the season. Everyone is on this "but Mario is always hurt " train. Is it supposed to be a given that Barwin, Reed, or Cushing won't get injured?

Rey
03-11-2012, 07:32 PM
Re-sign Mario.

We are playing better teams this year...better offenses...

We cannot just roll the same defense out from the end of last year "because we were fine"...We need to try to improve even on the defensive side of the ball. All this stand pat stuff just leads to teams catching up to you.

Playoffs
03-11-2012, 07:50 PM
Is it supposed to be a given that Barwin, Reed, or Cushing won't get injured?Minus Mario, with one of these guys injured ... our defense is all-of-a-sudden thinner than Paris Hilton's panties.

Texan_Bill
03-11-2012, 07:56 PM
Fiscally it would be stupid to re-sign Mario! Does he make this team better? Why hell yeah!! That said, the Steelers have done pretty well cutting ties with high dollar players that were expected to make even higher dollars!

At the end of the day, it's a case of -------> :slapfight:

thunderkyss
03-11-2012, 08:05 PM
Fiscally it would be stupid to re-sign Mario! Does he make this team better? Why hell yeah!! That said, the Steelers have done pretty well cutting ties with high dollar players that were expected to make even higher dollars!

At the end of the day, it's a case of -------> :slapfight:


help me out, which one of the Steeler's cast-offs continued to have success?

cbs1507
03-11-2012, 08:07 PM
Fiscally it would be stupid to re-sign Mario! Does he make this team better? Why hell yeah!! That said, the Steelers have done pretty well cutting ties with high dollar players that were expected to make even higher dollars!

At the end of the day, it's a case of -------> :slapfight:

Yeah but the Steelers weren't cutting 27 year pass rushers. They were a little long in the tooth.

Anyway, we have about 12 roster spots and only $3m-$4m cap space (without Foster's $8m). So we are about $3-$4 over the cap with 11 roster spots left. Why not sign Mario since we are already over the cap? I say we sign Mario and Myers and do some restructuring. Those other guys are not as important, if you consider we will be over the cap regardless of whether Mario walks or not.

dalemurphy
03-11-2012, 11:36 PM
Regardless of whether we agree on how much Mario is worth, clearly signing him "at all costs" is a ridiculous way to do business. Give me a break!

Also, let's not act like one player is "the answer" to a championship. Solomon contradicted himself referencing the Texans switch in pursuit from Asomugha to Joseph. Following that same wise decision-making, if Mario is pricing himself beyond what the Texans can/want to pay him, then they can institute and effective plan B. It's a rich free agent market and a lot of ways to strengthen the team.

Thorn
03-11-2012, 11:38 PM
I would like to see Mario re-signed, but not at all costs.

infantrycak
03-11-2012, 11:40 PM
I would like to see Mario re-signed, but not at all costs.

The bold should apply to every player. There has to be a cut-off somewhere for any player. But I would like to see Mario back.

Mr teX
03-11-2012, 11:50 PM
Noone advocating for the texans to resign mario has said bring him back at all costs. I think almost everyone who in "bring back mario" camp recognize that there is a limit to what we should stretch ourselves to get him back. I've said it all along, i just want them to make a reasonable offer to him like they did dunta. If he declines, then we move on; its just as simple as that. It's this downplay of this guys talents that has spun out of control imo.

It's never been all or nothing with bringing him back.

b0ng
03-12-2012, 12:06 AM
Solomon is slowly taking Justice's place as a chron troll.

Thorn
03-12-2012, 12:09 AM
Other than Texans Chick articles, does anyone really read the articles on their website anymore? I know I don't.

SheTexan
03-12-2012, 12:30 AM
Other than Texans Chick articles, does anyone really read the articles on their website anymore? I know I don't.

Nope!! Don't take the Chron, and don't read their website. I read what Steph post on FB, and occassionally during the season I'll read whatever someone on this board post. I did buy a couple papers during the playoffs though, for the pics. They had a fantastic one of JJ Watt after his score.

welsh texan
03-12-2012, 06:14 AM
I actually think he makes a fair point about 2nd year players and how they are expected to 'improve' but don't always.

And flaming the guy for asking how much Barwin offered the team in his second year is out of order too, just because it was through injury, the guy didn't help the team at a time when we desperately needed him too. Not Barwin's fault, but also a good point about relying on production from specific players.

I agree to an extent, and I wonder if some of the 'we don't need Mario' sentiment on this board is down to people not seeing any way that we can afford him and therefore needing to play down how good he is in their minds.

If Mario is gone, I'm not going to be that upset, he's one of the better pass-rushers in the league and probably one of the best when you factor in being great vs the pass but also extremely reliable vs. the run, I don't see too many who are better at both.

God forbid Brooks Reed or Barwin take a hit early season that puts them out for the year, and Mario is gone, we could face 2010 all over again. That does worry me.

I also think that Reed + Barwin + Mario as a rotation is greater than the sum of its parts, who knows if we can bring in someone else cheaper/through the draft who will lessen the overall impact of losing MW, I hope we can.

All that, and I'm pretty resigned to losing the guy as well, so yeh, he takes plays off and never gets through a whole season without ending up on IR, and all his sacks come against TE's. :kitten:

Premier
03-12-2012, 06:42 AM
Cushing fell way off his second year. Maybe it was the month suspension. Maybe it was the switch in his "supplements". Maybe it was the dreaded sophomore slump. Assuming it was the latter, what would make Reed impervious to this occurrence. Opposing teams get film on rooks and dissect it for weaknesses.

cushing was fresh off knee surgery before his second season began... and he played 1 whole game before demeco was IR'd and had to switch to MLB, cushing stilll had a decent year...

Showtime100
03-12-2012, 06:48 AM
I'm in the "I want him back, but not at all cost" camp. He was beasting it up pretty good before he got hurt. I can only wonder what the defense would have been had he not gotten hurt and maintained what he was doing.

However, I say again, not at all cost.

welsh texan
03-12-2012, 07:05 AM
I'm in the "I want him back, but not at all cost" camp. He was beasting it up pretty good before he got hurt. I can only wonder what the defense would have been had he not gotten hurt and maintained what he was doing.

However, I say again, not at all cost.

Completely agree, although I also wonder, had Mario not gone down, would Brooks Reed have had the opportunity to show what he was capable of? Did the fact that he was thrown into the starting lineup ahead of time lead to him having a positive reaction that caused him to go sick down the stretch?

Everything happens for a reason, maybe Brooks' quality at such an early stage was in some way down to the loss of Mario.

I'd love to see Mario out there playing the majority of snaps but essentially subbing in for different guys across the front 7, both at DE and OLB all game. I think that would cause matchup problems all over the show and really pay off in the 4th quarter when everyone is that little bit fresher.

I can't put a value on that, simply that if its possible, the Texans FO should definitely get it done.

I am starting to get a bit worried by now though, following the Foster signing, I had expected the other guys to start signing by now.

bckey
03-12-2012, 08:23 AM
At all costs? No way. If another team offers him a ridiculous contract and he and his agent want the Texans to match it, then let him go.

Smart teams may have cap room every year, but smart teams also know when to not overpay. Losing Mario would be tough, but if the Texans want to be in the upper echelon of teams in the NFL for the first time ever, then they better draft well also to replace players. Losing top talent is part of being a good team. So is replacing that talent.

Good post and I agree with it 100%

SCOTTexans
03-12-2012, 08:37 AM
I'm in the "I want him back, but not at all cost" camp. He was beasting it up pretty good before he got hurt. I can only wonder what the defense would have been had he not gotten hurt and maintained what he was doing.

Find myself asking that more and more about Mario, not finishing 2 season. Grion then peck muscle, Scared if we pay alot for him he will continue his streak

thunderkyss
03-12-2012, 10:17 AM
If Mario is gone, I'm not going to be that upset, he's one of the better pass-rushers in the league and probably one of the best when you factor in being great vs the pass but also extremely reliable vs. the run, I don't see too many who are better at both.



The only things that would upset me, would be if the Texans didn't offer Mario something in the $13M/yr range & if he stayed in the division. I like Duane Brown & think he'll be able to hold his own... I worry about the other side though.

Completely agree, although I also wonder, had Mario not gone down, would Brooks Reed have had the opportunity to show what he was capable of? Did the fact that he was thrown into the starting lineup ahead of time lead to him having a positive reaction that caused him to go sick down the stretch?

Everything happens for a reason, maybe Brooks' quality at such an early stage was in some way down to the loss of Mario.

I'd love to see Mario out there playing the majority of snaps but essentially subbing in for different guys across the front 7, both at DE and OLB all game. I think that would cause matchup problems all over the show and really pay off in the 4th quarter when everyone is that little bit fresher.

I can't put a value on that, simply that if its possible, the Texans FO should definitely get it done.

I am starting to get a bit worried by now though, following the Foster signing, I had expected the other guys to start signing by now.

I have no doubt that Brooks was going to be what he was going to be. Like you said, it's a rotation, Barwin + Brooks + Mario. He would have had plenty of snaps to make a name for himself.

What I don't like, is that we've got guys like Nading & Brahman on the team & the coaches would rather overload Barwin & Reed than put those guys on the field.... something we have to address. That could be Mario, that could be someone else, but it can not be and undrafted player like Nading or Brahman. James Harrison, yes.

I'd even be happy getting Mark Anderson back, he looked like he wanted to play when he was here & he looked like he wanted to play in New England. He'll push Reed & Barwin, I think.

But Barwin would have been the one to lose out if Mario didn't get hurt. He wouldn't have lost any playing time, but he would be the other OLB, which doesn't have the same pass rushing goals as the WOLB.

Vinnie
03-12-2012, 10:35 AM
Other than Texans Chick articles, does anyone really read the articles on their website anymore? I know I don't.

I read the fishing reports.

SCOTTexans
03-12-2012, 12:36 PM
This +1.

And look how many people were injured besides Mario during the season. Everyone is on this "but Mario is always hurt " train. Is it supposed to be a given that Barwin, Reed, or Cushing won't get injured?

Nobody gets paid like Mario does, is he worth the back-ups to Barwin, Reed, or cushing and other not just on defense that we could get for his kind of money? Also having the extra money to sign free agent next yr

But its all p1ssing in the wind till we know how much he wants...:kitten:

Ole Miss Texan
03-12-2012, 01:52 PM
I'm also in the "sign mario but not at all costs". I want him back really really badly, but not if it's going to severely limit what else we can do. His cap figure will just go up next year and the year after. Save the "cap will rise" talk b/c we just don't know how much. I don't want to get stuck with a $20MM cap figure for Mario next year and the years after. That is signing him at all costs.

Like last year, I really really wanted Nnamdi Asomugha but was THRILLED when we got Joseph + Manning. If we lose Mario, I will be really bummed... but I just hope we can use that extra money to sign another pass rusher to pair with Barwin and Reed, and have money left over to pick up some other key FAs and/or defnitely extend our own.

ObsiWan
03-12-2012, 02:07 PM
The bold should apply to every player. There has to be a cut-off somewhere for any player. But I would like to see Mario back.
Agreed. And this really isn't big news. Sooner or later, everyone who hangs around too long and has outlived their perceived usefulness to team management OR becomes too expensive for the team to afford gets the axe.

The question remains, has that time come for Mario or will his price tag be too high for "cheap ole" Bob McNair??

I'd like to see him back. I just don't want to have to dismantle the A-1 squad it took ten years to assemble to do so.

beerlover
03-12-2012, 02:07 PM
I'm also in the "sign mario but not at all costs". I want him back really really badly, but not if it's going to severely limit what else we can do. His cap figure will just go up next year and the year after. Save the "cap will rise" talk b/c we just don't know how much. I don't want to get stuck with a $20MM cap figure for Mario next year and the years after. That is signing him at all costs.

Like last year, I really really wanted Nnamdi Asomugha but was THRILLED when we got Joseph + Manning. If we lose Mario, I will be really bummed... but I just hope we can use that extra money to sign another pass rusher to pair with Barwin and Reed, and have money left over to pick up some other key FAs and/or defnitely extend our own.

The salary cap hardly changed at all (should have at least reflected increase in ticket prices)? Fiscal responsibility is in order :money:

Double Barrel
03-12-2012, 04:14 PM
I would like to see Mario re-signed, but not at all costs.

I agree with this completely.