The Houston Texans started the 2006 off with a shocking move this evening, as they rejected the seemingly inevitable selection of Reggie Bush by signing NC State defensive end Mario Williams with the intention of making him the number one pick in the draft.
Fox Sports Jay Glazer reports this evening that Williams will be given a five-year contract (with an option for a sixth) worth $54 million. The contract can be worth $60 million based on incentives.
The deal immediately shakes up the top part of the draft. Both Bush and Williams were expected to go among the top five in the draft, so the surprising move will likely simply shake up the order at the top of the draft. The New Orleans Saints, who had been speculated to be interested in Williams, will now have to adjust their planning. Speculation now has Bush falling as far as fourth to the Jets based on the needs of the teams at the top of the draft. Should the Jets land Bush, they still need to address their quarterback and offensive line issues.
An NFL general manager told Scout.com this evening that the move "makes some sense" in that Bush wouldn't be worth the money he was asking simply because he wouldn't be on the field enough to justify the selection. According to the front office leader, "Williams makes sense since the Texans are changing schemes".