Texans host free agents Bodden, Smith


Cornerback Leigh Bodden, who visited with the Texans Sunday and Monday, intercepted five passes for the Patriots in 2009.

The Texans hosted their first two free agents of the 2010 league year on Monday, welcoming Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden and Chiefs guard Wade Smith to Reliant Stadium.

Several NFL analysts – including Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post, Adam Schefter of ESPN and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle – reported on Monday night that Bodden has reached an agreement in principle to re-sign with the Patriots. That report was denied by Bodden's agent, Alvin Keels.

"Reports of Leigh Bodden re-signing with the Patriots are not true and pre-mature at best. Leigh is still evaluating his options," Keels wrote on his Twitter page at 7:01 p.m. CT.

Keels posted another message on Twitter a couple of minutes later.

"Leigh has always indicated his desire to return to New England but nothing is official and probably will not be until 2mrw at the earliest," he said.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who along with several Texans assistant coaches went to dinner with Bodden and Smith on Sunday night, spoke about the two players earlier in the day, before the conflicting reports on Bodden had come out.

{QUOTE}"They're two players that can help our team," Kubiak said Monday afternoon. "You never know what a guy's looking for or what's important to them, so you just kind of put your best foot forward, but the most important thing is you put your honest foot forward and you tell them the truth. Because if you get them on your team, you want them here for the right reasons because they know how it's going to be and what's expected of them. We had good visits with them. We'll see what happens."

Bodden intercepted five passes for the Patriots in 2009. He has 18 interceptions in his seven-year career, and Kubiak said that he liked the veteran presence that Bodden could bring to the Texans' young secondary.

"He's a guy that if the ball's around him, he's going to catch it and make plays," Kubiak said. "The difference between good corners and great corners in the NFL is making interceptions, not just knocking balls down. He's got great ball skills."

Smith, who grew up in Dallas, has played all over the offensive line in his seven-year career. He started 16 games at left tackle as a rookie for the Miami Dolphins in 2003. He worked at tackle and center while with the New York Jets (2006-07), then spent most of his time with the Chiefs (2008-09) at right guard and center.

"(Versatility) is the biggest thing with him," Kubiak said. "I've chased this kid a couple of times. I chased him in Denver, and now I get a chance here in Houston. He can play a lot of spots. We see him as an inside player. We want him to come compete at the center/guard position for our football team. We think that's going to be a very competitive position for our team this year, so we'll see what he thinks of it."

Follow Nick Scurfield on Twitter at *twitter.com/NickScurfield or find him on the "I'm A Texan Club" at imatexan.com/profiles/Nick_Scurf/.*

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