Texans Potential Free Agent: Aaron Schobel

Longtime Buffalo Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel retired at the end of the 2009 season, but apparently has had a change of heart.  The Bills, however, have informed their 2001 second round draft pick that they will be moving on without him and if he chooses to come back they will give him his outright release.  Now Schobel is "very interested in talking to other teams."

Pro Football Talk already got the speculation train going by pointing out that Schobel was raised near Houston and may want to play here.  Schobel did attend Columbus High School, then Texas Christian University, and still lives in the Columbus area during the offseason.  That might influence his free agent decision a little, but there's another interesting wrinkle to this story - Texans defensive line coach Bill Kollar.

Kollar coached Schobel in Buffalo from 2006-2008.  The first year of that relationship yielded Schobel's most productive year as a pro when he tallied 14 sacks.  The next two years were mired by inconsistency and injuries for Schobel, but the coach and player have remained extremely close.  So close, in fact, that John McClain has tweeted that the two got together for golf in the offseason and that the Texans would be Schobel's first choice.

I personally would love the move.  Despite the near-retirement, Schobel still has plenty left in the tank as evidenced by his 10 sacks last year.  Moreover, I hypothesized last year that Bill Kollar would try to mold Connor Barwin after Schobel as a lighter pass rusher, so what could be better than to have him there for Barwin to learn in person?  This would allow more of a rotation on the line, and give Barwin at least a year or two to fully hit his stride before all of the responsibility was put on his shoulders.

The New York Giants won a Super Bowl using the theory that you can never have too many good defensive linemen, and I never argue with results.  What say you BRB?

UPDATE:  Bills GM Buddy Nix now claims that Schobel will NOT be given his outright release.  Nix claimed that Schobel will either retire, or be the subject of a trade.

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