The 2014 schedule has yet to be released, but rest assured Owen Daniels can’t wait to face the Texans next season.
The former Texans TE was a cap casualty earlier this offseason after spending eight seasons with the franchise. The 31-year old played in 100 games over his Texans career, finishing with 385 receptions, 4,617 yards, and 29 touchdowns.
Daniels’ 2013 season, his last in a Texans uniform, was cut short due to a broken leg, which he suffered in a week five loss against the San Francisco 49’ers.
The Texans chose to cut Daniels and go with Garrett Graham and Ryan Griffin, both of whom played well in Daniels’ absence last season. Daniels wasn’t too happy with leaving the city he’s been in for the last eight years.
“When you’re with a franchise that long, and then all of a sudden they decide you’re not good enough for them anymore, and they want to go in a different direction, yes, that definitely gives you a big chip, and it gets you motivated. I think we’re playing down there this year, so… What Steve Smith said about playing in Carolina…”
The Carolina Panthers cut their longtime #1 WR Steve Smith earlier this offseason and this is what he had to say about leaving the Panthers:
“I want to make sure that whatever team I go to, they’re going to get the best, in shape 35-year-old guy they can get. If that happens to run through Bank of America Stadium, put your goggles on cause there’s going to be blood and guts everywhere.”
Whether Daniels meant those exact words or not, there’s a bit of truth behind everything. He was clearly bothered by the Texans letting him go. Steve Smith has the pedigree to come out and say something like that. He’s known as that type of personality. But Owen Daniels? Where did that come from?
Daniels’ best season came in 2008 when he finished with 70 receptions for 862 yards and two touchdowns. 70 receptions?!? 862 yards?!? We’re not talking about Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski numbers. We’re talking about someone whose 862 yards in 2008 would have ranked 35th this 2013 season, conveniently in between TE’s Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. We’re talking about someone whose 862 yards would have ranked second on the Texans this past season, just 60 yards over DeAndre Hopkins who only had 5 games this season of 4+ receptions. Good numbers, but not exactly making yourself a name.
Now don’t get me wrong. Daniels was a big part of the Texans offensive success in the last eight years. He was had very good hands and was a big threat, especially on third downs. He made two Pro Bowls and was considered one of the better tight ends in the NFL for much of his time with the Texans. But he’s not exactly in a position to say, “put your goggles on cause there’s going to be blood and guts everywhere.”
What’s going to happen, Owen? Are you going to go out there and have a 10-reception, 100-yard game? Is that what “blood and guts everywhere” means to you? You do know your quarterback is Joe Flacco, who averages just over 224 passing yards a game in his career. The same Joe Flacco who has thrown for just 204 passing yards a game in his career (three games) against the Texans. You do know you’re the second tight end on the Ravens roster and probably the fifth option in the passing game. Both Steve Smith and Torrey Smith are better players, and Dennis Pitta and Ray Rice are great options as well. So you expect how many of those 200-225 yards to come your way?!?
Owen, the logical side of your brain knows the Texans made the right move. Just look at the Texans roster. They already have two tight ends capable of replacing you who are much younger and more dependable than you. Just look at the contract you received from the Ravens. $1 million, none of which is guaranteed. If you have the awesome year you expect, great, you can make another $1 million more in incentives. Just $2 million max and you wanted the Texans to keep you so you could count $6.25 million against their cap?
Come on, Owen!
You had a great career with the Texans and I know all Texans fans appreciate your time with the Texans. I sure do. It was time to move on and hearing those comments from you leaves a sour taste in the mouth of Texans fans.
But yea, Owen, I’ll have my goggles ready to go. Just waiting on the date.