HOUSTON - OCTOBER 09: Outside linebacker Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans reacts after a big defensive stop in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Reliant Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Jets could certainly use an upgrade to their pass rush. The best pass rusher available is Mario Williams. The Texans will have a difficult time keeping their 27 year old superstar because of their salary cap situation. Williams is one of the best in the game getting to the quarterback. He has a pair of years with at least 12 sacks and had 5 in the first 5 games of 2011 after a position change to outside linebacker before missing the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
Williams is a one trick pony, but that trick is a pretty special one. He uses his massive 6'6" 283 pound frame with great athleticism to consistently bull rush his way into opposing backfields and get to the quarterback. His play against the run is somewhat uneven, but he has shown he can get to the quarterback either standing up or in a three point stance.
As much as people talk about the weaknesses on the defense, the Jets still had a top five unit last year. With an offense that did not commit turnovers leading to over 100 points, that unit could have carried the Jets to 11 wins. At the same time, a player like Williams could take the defense to the next level. All of the great cover guys the Jets have would become even better if Gang Green had a guy who could get to the other team's quarterback quickly. Generating pressure without blitzing would allow for more help in the back. A guy like Williams would make the exotic blitzes Rex Ryan runs even more effective. He would draw so much attention that it would create favorable matchups.
I think it is a no brainer that the Jets should look into signing Williams. I am not sure that could really work, though. Mike Tannenbaum could probably create enough cap room to make it happen, but it might be a bit like Nnamdi Asomugha where the team could only go to a certain point and address other areas of need. The Jets got a lot closer to Nnamdi than I imagined they could. It is not impossible. I will just remain skeptical.
I will say this. I would rather have Williams and Joe Safety than a mediocre outside linebacker and a mediocre safety. As much as the Jets need better linebackers and safeties in coverage, they are not going to find a guy who can match up with Rob Gronkowski. The way to take him away is to get to Tom Brady before he can get the big tight end ball. I think the problem is that signing Williams would not limit the team's options at safety. It also would at right tackle, tight end, inside linebacker and wide receiver.
Should the Jets have interest in Mario Williams?
Yes, and break the bank to make it happen (497 votes)
Yes, but there is no reasonable way to make it happen (571 votes)
No (83 votes)
1151 total votes