Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams is expected to hit NFL free agency as an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET and is expected to have plenty of suitors for his services. The Texans began clearing up some cap room on Monday evening by replacing players like right tackle Eric Winston, but it's unknown if this is clearing up space for Williams or to go after another player. One team who will be interested is the Seattle Seahawks, according to Danny O'Neill of The Seattle Times.
Williams is the only top-shelf pass-rusher scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. He's also going to be expensive, with a number of teams expected to be bidding for his services. Maybe the Seahawks will have better luck catching Williams' eye than they did with Manning.
The Chicago Bears are also expected to be in heavy pursuit of Williams in the hopes to pair him up with defensive end Julius Peppers. John Mullin of CSN Chicago reports that the Bears will be after the free agent defensive end.
The Bears will go into the hours leading to the start of free agency considered around the league to be the favorite in the competition to sign defensive end Mario Williams away from the Houston Texans, CSNChicago.com has learned from a number of NFL sources.
The Atlanta Falcons are another team who reportedly will have lots of interest in Mario Williams as well. "I think that when you look at the value, he's going to be more valuable to a 4-3 team, and the two 4-3 teams that appear to have either the most money or the most interest are Atlanta and Seattle," ESPN's John Clayton told the "Brock and Salk" radio show. The Jacksonville Jaguars are also a team expect to be in heavy pursuit of Williams as well.
One team who doesn't appear to be in the running for Williams, however, is the Dallas Cowboys, according to Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News.
The next two would be Mario Williams and Carl Nicks. They figure to command the next highest contracts of this free agency period. With the franchise tag placed on Spencer, I don't think the Cowboys could be financial players for either Williams or Nicks.
For more free agency updates, go to SB Nations Texans blog, Battle Red Blog.