The Houston Texans recently released tight end Owen Daniels, saving $4.5 million in the process, and already had a high amount of depth at the position, and Daniels’s release means that the Texans will most likely re-sign Garrett Graham. This year’s impending free agent TE crop is weak on paper, but guys like Daniels and Detroit Lions free agent Brandon Pettigrew are solid options. Daniels is the top free agent TE at this moment in time, but Pettigrew is clearly the next-best option for teams in need of a tight end.
According to the Detroit Free Press’s Dave Birkett, the Lions are “still in conversations with” Pettigrew, but they aren’t expected to re-sign him before free agency opens today at 4 p.m. ET. Pettigrew is expected to hit free agency, and that shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s always seemed like he’s had too high of an asking price, but I wonder how much Daniels’s release impacts his asking price, since he’s no longer the top option at the position set to hit the open market.
Pettigrew had a decent 2013 season, as he was actually a nice safety valve for Matthew Stafford. An average blocker, Pettigrew is 29 and caught 41 passes for 416 yards. Teams with a big need at the position, most namely the New York Giants, should go after him, but hopefully nobody spends much on him. Pettigrew’s about an average starting tight end in this league, and he isn’t much more than that and has failed to fulfill his first-round pedigree.