By Eric Schmidt

Expected to be one of the most sought after free agents in this year’s market, OLB/DE Mario Williams told reporters on Thursday that money is not the only thing he’s interested in. Mario Williams could easily become the highest paid defensive player in NFL history next month, but it appears he is sending out signals that he’d like to remain with the Houston Texans. Will the franchise respond?

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Williams said that he’s not so much interested in the money as much as finding the system he likes. “I’m not worried about that. It’s really not that big of a deal to me. I was the first pick and I’ve already had everything I really wanted, so my biggest thing is to be in a good position, a good scheme and continuing my career. Hopefully, it works out,” said Williams. Refreshing.

Williams has played his entire career with the Houston Texans and was available for only five games this season. Williams missed the Texans first ever playoff appearance after being placed on season ending injured reserve after tearing his pectoral muscle.

The loss of Williams for the season after just five contests was not as bad of a blow as many suggested it would be for the Texans. The Houston defense was a force to be reckoned with under the leadership of  coordinator Wade Phillips this season. The franchise would love to have Williams back, but at what cost? They will have to sign him to a long term deal because the use of the one-year franchise will be entirely too costly, with estimates suggesting a cap hit as high as $22 million dollars.

“I love it here. We’ve got everything we need here. The team is right where it needs to be. The pieces fit, but it’s part of business. Whatever happens happens,” Williams told reporters.

It appears to me that the proverbial ball is in the Texans lap. Williams is sending out signals that he wants to remain with the organization, but it’s up to them to get a deal done.

Houston is a trendy pick to represent the AFC in next year’s Super Bowl, keeping Williams on the roster only enhances that possibility.

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