Patriots free agent CB Leigh Bodden is set to start looking for his 2010 employer, with a visit to Houston.
According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans had gone back-and-forth on the idea of pursuing Bodden after losing their own big-ticket free-agent CB Dunta Robinson. Fair to say, then, that if Bodden's getting an offer from Houston, it won't be close to the six-year $57 million deal Robinson got from the Atlanta Falcons.
Bodden, like a lot of other players on the slower-than-usual secondary market, garnered immediate interest at the start of free agency on Friday, but had to wait a bit to make more concrete plans.
Now, it seems, more of those players will start to see things move along. Bodden is expected, no matter what happens, to give New England a fair shot at retaining him, though it's pretty clear he's not staying at a discounted rate.
UPDATE (5:42 p.m.): Through the magic of Twitter, we've got a whole bushel of things to add here. And let's go ...
@Alvin Keels (Bodden's agent) had this:"Leigh Bodden heading to Houston today for a visit with the Texans" ... Then @LeighBodden himself Tweeted: "I really need to try to get some sleep before we land. This is going to be a busy week for me so I better get all the rest that I can."
And respected veteran NFL scribe John McClain, of the Houston Chronicle, Tweeted this: "Bodden arrives in Houston tonight and will meet with the Texans at Reliant Stadium on Sunday. His price has come way down." Then, Globe-ex Jerome Solomon added this, with Houston needing to replace Robinson: "Text message from a Houston Texan: 'We BETTER sign Bodden.' ... I don't think it's as important as he does."
Usually if a player gets on a plane, he's serious about signing with a team. And while the Bodden camp has said that New England will be involved all the way through, I'd expect for the Texans to act aggressively to try to get something done, and then the ball would go back to the Patriots' court. So we'll see what happens.