Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 3/5/12

The Detroit Lions used the franchise tag on Cliff Avril taking one of the best DE off the free agent market.

The Houston Texans signed Arian Foster to a five year deal, which may have shut the door on their chances of keeping DE Mario Williams. Houston reportedly won’t have the cap space to use the franchise tag on Williams, which would be around $22 million. The Texans have other free agents to worry about as well, and may find themselves on the outside of the Williams sweepstakes.

This is obviously good news for those Browns fans wanting the team to make a splash in free agency and find a dominating pass rusher to line up opposite Jabaal Sheard. While most fans would point to the offense as the biggest problem area for the Browns (and rightfully so) it would be hard to fault the team for taking a chance on an elite pass rusher. These players don’t hit the market in their prime very often.

[Additional Info: NFL Free Agents- Defensive Ends]

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