Houston Texans safety Danieal Manning recorded 24 tackles in six games last season, as his year was cut short by a fractured right fibula and he was never able to return from the injury after initially being expected to play later on in the year. Solid starting tight end Owen Daniels also suffered a season-ending injury after being expected to return at some point in 2013, and he was released this offseason as an unsurprising cap casualty. Manning has met the same fate as Daniels, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the team has also decided to cut ties with him.
Even though he isn’t as good of a player as Daniels, his release is a tad more surprising, as they reportedly got Manning to agree to a paycut just a few days ago that would prevent him from being released. Of course, maybe he never actually took a paycut in the first place, and that’s the most logical explanation for today’s release.
Manning’s $6 million salary going into the 2014 season was deemed too high, but the 31-year-old would have been well-worth keeping at a reduced price. It looks like that reported paycut wasn’t enough to save him, and he should be able to find work elsewhere, hopefully as a free safety instead of a strong safety. The Texans seem to be high on Swearinger, who is a talented and hard-hitting safety who can cover in the slot. They already added Chris Clemons this offseason after he wasn’t re-signed by the Miami Dolphins, and he’s a very dependable starter in this league and an upgrade overall. Manning was a decent player, but Clemons is better. I wonder if the Texans could take a flier on a safety in this year’s draft class for more depth, and Oregon Ducks product Avery Patterson could make sense as a sleeper option.
Update: The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirms the move, and the key part is his note that Manning rejected a paycut from the Texans. Case closed.