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But there are two impediments to Schobel coming to New England to aid an ailing pass rush. The first is his interest in playing for his hometown Texans (Schobel grew up in Columbus, Texas and went to TCU). The second? Money.
The Pats may not be able to overcome the first hurdle. Speaking to the Houston Chronicle's John McLain last week - two days before his release - Schobel said, "If I were a free agent, and I could choose a team, it would be the Texans, without a doubt."
The lure of being reunited in Houston with former Bills' assistant Bill Kollar, now the assistant head coach/defensive line coach for the Texans, is strong. "I know Bill, and I know the scheme. I know the verbiage. It’s an hour from my hometown. And the Texans have a chance to be real good. They’d make the most sense. Houston would be the best spot for me."
When a source close to Schobel was told this morning of the bubbling interest in New England for Schobel's service, the reply was, "It's nice up there."
Schobel's agent Jeff Nalley has not returned calls.
The 32-year-old had 10 sacks for the Bills last year. At 6-4, 243 pounds, Schobel's never played in a 3-4 defense. The fact that he would cite his comfort with Kollar and familiarity with the system in place in Houston is an indication that - at this juncture - he's not real keen on relearning a new position.
That being the case, New England would likely have to get into an overpay situation to convince Schobel to come. With Logan Mankins stewing about his lack of a new deal and Tom Brady tapping his foot awaiting his own, throwing money at Schobel and a position that was supposed to be manned by The Reluctant End Derrick Burgess (obtained for a third and a fifth last year), would be messy business. Necessary business, perhaps, but messy all the same.Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomecurran