Colvin Inching Closer To A Deal

Where will Rosevelt Colvin land? Is it possible the veteran linebacker will return to New England? Here's what our experts are hearing as Colvin inches closer to a deal.

COLVIN TO HOUSTON?

OLB Rosevelt Colvin visited Reliant Stadium last Wednesday. He took a physical in the morning and then spoke with general manager Rick Smith and some of the coaches in the afternoon.

Colvin, 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, has 52.5 sacks in nine NFL seasons. Four of those sacks came last season when he was limited to just 10 games with the Patriots because of a foot injury he suffered Nov. 25 against the Eagles.

"We know he can rush the passer," coach Gary Kubiak said. "He brings a lot of maturity to your team from a standpoint of that he's been on some great football teams and won a lot games in this league, a very smart player who has played a lot of places. I just think he would bring some veteran leadership and accountability to our team."

The Texans are trying to add another outside pass rusher to complement Mario Williams. Colvin has played in the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes before, and he has two Super Bowl rings.

He is also familiar with Texans general manager Rick Smith. Both are Purdue alums.

"You know, I recruited Rosevelt Colvin out of high school," Smith said. "He was at Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis and I was at Purdue at the time and I was successful in convincing him to come to Purdue. And he had a pretty good career."

OR TO INDIANAPOLIS?

Colvin is still in the mix for a possible return to his hometown team, though signing with the Colts is still considered to be something of a long shot.

Colvin visited the Colts nearly two months ago. Indianapolis would likely use Colvin as an outside pass rush specialist, a position he held early in his career with the Chicago Bears.

"I don't know where we are in the process, but we'd probably like to get it settled one way or the other pretty quick," coach Tony Dungy said. "We're still investigating some things, so I wouldn't say anything is out of the picture. But for the most part, this is the group you're counting on."

OR TO CLEVELAND?

Colvin said recently in a radio interview that he'd like to play in Cleveland for Romeo Crennel or for the Jets and Eric Mangini, two former assistants in New England.

According to Scout.com's senior NFL Reports Adam Caplan, the possibility that Colvin ends up in Cleveland is fading. "They really haven't been aggressive trying to get him," wrote Caplan in a recent Scout.com chat.

WHAT ABOUT NEW ENGLAND?

"I don't think he'll be back," Caplan said during a recent interview on Patriots Insider Radio. "I think he's going to end up in Houston."

Caplan, who has followed New England players from Foxboro to the far corners of the NFL believes that Colvin's other suitors will land the talented linebacker, but not all of them want him to play as a linebacker.

"There are three or four teams that like him," Caplan said. "He'll either play defensive end in a 4-3, or outside linebacker in a 3-4. He started his career as an end in Chicago. "

"Because of the versatility that he has, he's definitely going to find a job [elsewhere]."

Caplan confirmed the observations Patriots Insider experts have made regarding the roster. Rookies Shawn Crable and Jerod Mayo are expected to see significant playing time with the starting defense. Mayo is expected to become an immediate starter, while Crable works his way into the rotation.

Adalius Thomas and Mike Vrabel set as the team's starters. Pierre Woods and Crable will be the substitutes. With limited roster spots available, and having significant money tied up in Thomas and Vrabel, there isn't much room for Colvin to fit into the lineup even if he did return.

According to sources in Houston, the Texans are in ongoing discussion with Colvin to bring him to Texas. Caplan and other insiders confirm that Houston is the leading candidate to land the veteran defender. Other teams could still jump into the hunt for Colvin's services, though it is expected the veteran will sign a deal before the start of training camp in order to learn the system.

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