Texans aim for a deal with Connor Barwin before free agency starts

Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin played out the final year of his rookie contract, and will likely test the free agency waters, although he'd like to stay with the team.

For the first time this offseason, both sides will meet and try to work out an agreement to keep him in Houston, reports Tania Ganguli of The Houston Chronicle. They plan to meet at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this weekend.

The Texans want him back, but it all hinges on what they can offer. They did make an offer to him prior to the 2012 season which would've paid him quite nicely. Coming off a great 11.5 sack 2011 season, he felt that he commanded more than they were offering, and their offer wasn't up there with comparable LBs.

He took a risk and may have blown a chance at good deal. In 2012, he couldn't equal his 2011 numbers, totaling only 3.5 sacks.

Barwin and his representatives will have to realize that and not set their bar so high that the cash-strapped Texans can't accommodate.

If Barwin does leave for the money, his starting job will go to Whitney Mercilus.

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