A player like Mario Williams doesn’t reach the open market too often.
Williams, 27, is an premiere pass rusher in the prime of his career. He’s a player that any team covets, but not many can afford.
That includes the Texans, who are only approximately $650,000 under the cap. Houston will be fine, however, having built a young and dynamic front seven that showed it could thrive without Williams after he went down with a season-ending injury in October.
The Bears could be the first team Williams visits, and it might be the only team. It’s believed Chicago will go hard after him. The Bears are also expected to pursue wide receiver Vincent Jackson, and it could end up being an either/or type of situation for the team.
The Jaguars also want in on the Williams sweepstakes, but it’s unclear if he would be open to joining a team in rebuilding mode.
Williams, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, tallied 53 career sacks in six seasons in Houston. A torn pectoral muscle limited him to just five games in 2011.
Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.