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Texans leading Jets, 49ers in Asomugha sweepstakes

The Houston Texans appear to be the leaders for free-agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha's services, multiple sources have told NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi.

Asomugha, widely considered the top player available in free agency, could land a contract in the range of $12 million to 14 million per season from the Texans, according to Lombardi. That would make Asomugha the NFL's highest-paid cornerback, eclipsing the average yearly salary of the four-year, $46 million deal that Darrelle Revis signed with the New York Jets last offseason.

The Jets also are reportedly involved in serious negotiations with Asomugha. According to Lombardi, the San Francisco 49ers are believed to be in the mix, too. senior writer Steve Wyche cited a league source in reporting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren't pursuing Asomugha. There was speculation the Bucs could make a play with starting cornerback Aqib Talib possibly facing legal, league and team discipline for an alleged shooting incident in Texas. Talib is expected to be with the team from the outset of training camp.

The Texans are aided in their pursuit of Asomugha by the fact the state of Texas has no state income tax.

It has been believed the Texans would be aggressive in free agency to upgrade the defense under first-year coordinator Wade Phillips. Adding pieces to the secondary, especially cornerback, is considered a major offseason priority for the team, which used three draft picks in April's draft on defensive backs. The Texans lost free agent Dunta Robinson a year ago in free agency when he signed a six-year, $57 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons.

Asomugha, a four-time All-Pro selection, has spent all eight of his NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders, with whom he made roughly $16 million last season before his contract voided, making him a free agent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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