Opinions on Mario & Patriots

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
12:55
PM ET
Sharing a few opinions on what would be a bonanza type scenario for the Patriots, the signing of Texans defensive end/outside linebacker Mario Williams:

1. Scouts Inc. rates Patriots as best fit. In an Insider piece, Gary Horton of Scouts Inc lists five teams he views as the best landing spot for Williams. He puts the Patriots in the No. 1 position. "Though the Patriots don't typically make a big splash in free agency, all those things should appeal to a high-character guy like Williams. It's not their typical move, but it's one that could work for both sides," Horton writes.

2. Sense is that Patriots an unlikely landing spot. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, in an Insider piece, answers questions from fans. His take on Williams to the Patriots? "He would be great in their system, and the Patriots certainly could use him, so it's logical to make the connection between the two sides -- it won't be the first time it happens. But my sense of it today -- and senses seem to change many days during free agency -- is that he will wind up elsewhere."

3. Don't see big splash. Mike Lombardi of NFL Network and NFL.com, in an appearance on sports radio WEEI today, opined that Williams probably wouldn't be on the team's radar. "Mario is making is making so much money and I think New England is going to be cognizant of Vince Wilfork's $8 million a year. I think that's one thing that the Patriots have done a great job of -- they don't bring anybody in the locker room that makes more than some of their own players and they don't cause that dissention amongst their own team," he said. "I don't see that. I don't think they're going to spend that much money on one specific player. I think you're going to see a lot of different players come in here and rebuild the defensive front, rebuild their offense a little bit, change their offense."

4. Worth exploring for defense in need. In his "Monday Morning Quarterback" piece, Peter King of SI.com writes: "I think I'm more convinced than ever: The Patriots, who need major help on defense, should be at the front of the pursuit pack for Mario Williams ..."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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