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Old 03-11-2012   #1
Marcus
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Default Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #2
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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 ?
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Old 03-11-2012   #3
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #4
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #5
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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Originally Posted by TexanSam View Post
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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #6
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

That's it! It's official! Resigning Mario is a bad move.
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Old 03-11-2012   #7
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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.



Florio's source is either McClain, Solomon, or "some guy on Twitter".
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Old 03-11-2012   #8
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #9
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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!
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Old 03-11-2012   #10
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #11
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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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?
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Old 03-11-2012   #12
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #13
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #14
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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 ------->
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Old 03-11-2012   #15
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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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 ------->

help me out, which one of the Steeler's cast-offs continued to have success?
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Old 03-11-2012   #16
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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Originally Posted by Texan_Bill View Post
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 ------->
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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #17
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #18
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

I would like to see Mario re-signed, but not at all costs.
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Old 03-11-2012   #19
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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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.
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Old 03-11-2012   #20
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Default Re: Solomon: Texans should re-sign Mario at all costs

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.
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