Houston Texans outside linebacker Connor Barwin was not given the franchise tag on Monday, meaning he will become an unrestricted free agent on March 12th, free to sign with any team that needs a pass rusher with 19 career sacks in four seasons.
One of those teams might be the Indianapolis Colts, who are certainly looking for people who can pressure the quarterback after they informed impending free agent Dwight Freeney that they will not re-sign him.
As a guest on SIRIUSXM NFL radio earlier this week, Barwin was asked about the possibility of joining either the Colts or the Patriots, he answered:
When asked specifically about joining the New England Patriots, Barwin replied, "That would be nice." He also was asked about the Indianapolis Colts, the Texans' top rival in the AFC South.
"Yeah, they would seem to have a lot of interest," Barwin said. "So we'll see. That would be very interesting. ... There's a lot of factors that would have to come into play to make me do it, but I think that it would be hard to go there and play. But I'm sure they could change my mind with a couple of different things."
"They would seem to have a lot of interest" is a very interesting choice of words on Barwin's part.
Barwin also took a few shots at his Texans teammates, saying that "better leadership" was needed in 2012. The Texans finished the regular season 1-3, including getting pretty much manhandled in Indianapolis in Week 17.
Personally, I take that "better leadership" knocks as a shot at Matt Schaub and Gary Kubiak. They are the reported "leaders" of the franchise, and both have a history of coming up small in big games.
Barwin had 11.5 sacks in 2011, but only 3 in 2012 to go with 35 total tackles and a safety.