Antonio Smith lines up free-agent visits

Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith felt optimistic about returning to the team after talking with head coach Bill O'Brien last month.

He had reason to be. O'Brien spoke very highly of the pending free agent during the combine.

However, the Texans didn't re-sign Smith before the test-the-market portion of free agency began.

Smith now has four teams interested in him, with two visits lined up for later this week.

Smith has been part of a very solid interior pass rush for the Texans. Though his younger compadre J.J. Watt has gaudier numbers, the veteran does create problems for opponents. He finished last season with five sacks. In his career Smith has 41.5 total sacks, having set career bests in 2011 with 6.5 and 2012 with seven.

Teams have been allowed to enter into negotiations with players since noon ET on Saturday, but can't schedule visits or reach agreements with anyone not on their 2013-14 roster until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.