http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/3703191.html NFL FREE AGENCY Let the buyer prepare Free agency is coming at some point, and Texans general manager Charley Casserly will be ready to shop when it is By MEGAN MANFULL Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Texans general manager Charley Casserly was ready for free agency to begin last Friday. The NFL's delays have only prolonged his wait. With no salary-cap issues to sweat over like many of the league's other franchises, Casserly spent the waiting period scanning the expanding list of available free agents and preparing for the draft. The NFL and its players' union have been unable to strike a deal, but they're still talking, and free agency is coming late Wednesday night after a three-day delay approved by the league and union Sunday. Casserly is prepared. "We're ready but not anxious or disappointed," he said. "Obviously if a new agreement is reached there will be more cap room for everybody. But we're ready to operate either way." Casserly is hardly the only one ready for free agency to begin. The Texans' unrestricted free agents were waiting to find out if they will be relocating. Of the Texans' 10 unrestricted free agents, only wide receiver Jabar Gaffney (13 starts), guard Milford Brown (12) and linebacker DaShon Polk (11) were regular starters last season. Wide receiver Corey Bradford and running back Jonathan Wells started at different points throughout the season and saw significant playing time. Those five will be the most sought after of the Texans' unrestricted free agents as they begin the process of talking with other teams. In the past few weeks, the Texans have been able to talk with their free agents, but they have agreed to terms with only guard Fred Weary. "We'd like to bring them all back, but we'll see what happens," Cas- serly said. Wells im- proved his free-agent stock when he started four games at running back in place of the injured Domanick Davis last season. Wells finished the season with 325 rushing yards on 90 carries. "That playing time was huge," said Wells, Davis' backup the past three years and the lead blocker for Pro Bowl kick returner Jerome Mathis last season. "I got an opportunity to showcase my talent, and I showed what I can do with the ball if I get it in my hands." Wells could command more money and playing time elsewhere. The Texans are in a bind with him because they are deciding whether to draft running back Reggie Bush. With Davis locked into a long-term deal and Vernand Morency coming off his rookie season, the Texans would have an abundance of running backs. Wells said he would like to return to the Texans, especially with coach Gary Kubiak bringing in the Broncos' offensive scheme, which focuses on the running game. "I'd definitely like to be part of that offense," Wells said. "That's one of the main reasons I'd like to stay." Gaffney and Bradford have been staples of the Texans' offense since its inaugural season. The Texans might seek more of a playmaker to help spread the defense away from Andre Johnson, but new schemes brought in by the new Texans coaching staff could improve Gaffney and Bradford's production. Brown, who made just four starts in his previous three seasons, was a mainstay on a offensive line riddled with injuries. Brown, a sixth-round pick for the Texans in the 2002 supplemental draft, took advantage of his playing time and became a solid contributor. Defensively, the Texans have fewer questions. Polk is the main one after having a breakout season upon replacing the injured Kailee Wong. Polk, a six-year veteran, saw the most extensive playing time of his career. He said hopes it opened the eyes of scouts and the new Texans coaches. "Every day it gets closer. You get nervous," Polk said. "You've got family and people calling you wanting to find out what's going on and where you're going to play. "You just have to stay humble, stay relaxed and be prepared for whatever happens. I'm not going to panic. "I'm just going to let things unfold on their own."