Owen Daniels was always considered a potential cap casualty for the Houston Texans this offseason, and it looks like he is on the way out before free agency opens up today. The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reports that the Texans have decided to cut ties with Daniels, who has been with the organization since 2006. A reliable set of hands and a good safety valve for Matt Schaub back when Schaub wasn’t throwing a ridiculous amount of interceptions, Daniels played in just five games last season due to an injury. The emergence of promising rookie Ryan Griffin and impending free agent Garrett Graham made Daniels expendable, especially since he was set to earn $4.5 million this upcoming season.
Graham looked like an intriguing piece in 2012, and he played well in Daniels’s absence last season. He’s an impending free agent, but Daniels’s release means that the Texans will almost certainly re-sign Graham, who would have commanded significant interest on the open market. Daniels will also command significant interest despite being 31 and coming off of a season-ending injury, as he is a very solid starting TE in this league. With Gary Kubiak and Kyle Shanahan in Baltimore, the Ravens could be a potential landing spot and build a reliable, top-notch twin-TE set of Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels.
Ryan Griffin is a Texans player worth watching closely next season, and it’s going to be interesting to see what the team does with the cap room they have saved by releasing Daniels, who stated earlier this offseason that he would be open to taking a paycut to remain with the team (he also knew that his time was likely up anyway).