Daniels was released by the Texans on Tuesday, just hours before free agency was slated to begin at 4 p.m. ET, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Texans released TE Owen Daniels.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 11, 2014
Owen Daniels counted $6.25 million on the cap. He was scheduled to make $4.5 million. He's recovered from a fractured fibula.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 11, 2014
The Texans saved $4.5 million on the cap by releasing Daniels.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 11, 2014
Houston’s decision to release Daniels likely means the team intends to re-sign Garrett Graham, who is slated to become a free agent.
Daniels, 31, was a fourth-round pick by Houston in 2006. Daniels was once viewed as an elite tight end, but he has been unable to stay healthy. Last season, Daniels appeared in only five games due to a fractured fibula. Daniels has been limited to 11 games or less in three of the past five seasons. Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit Lions) is among the best free agent tight end available, but Daniels is another option for teams looking for depth at that position.
Overall, there are not any elite tight ends available in free agency, unless a team is willing to give up two first-round draft picks for New Orleans Saints standout Jimmy Graham, but the addition of Owens will add a little more intrigue.
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