A Gaping Void - Part 2: Owen Daniels

Daniels and Winston (Getty Images)

This is the second of two articles depicting what the Texans can expect in order to keep some key pieces of their offensive line, Eric Winston and Owen Daniels. We'll now look at what to expect for tight end Owen Daniels.

Owen Daniels has had a great start to his career after being selected by the Texans in the fourth round of the 2006 draft from the University of Wisconsin. Right now, he is in the top half of tight ends in the NFL, and at just 25 years of age, his arrow is pointing straight up. His great hands and solid blocking ability have many believing that the Pro Bowl could be in his future. It is expected that he will continue to grow as vital part of the Texans passing attack, and it is likely that the Texans will try to lock him up long term.

Tight End Salaries

Antonio Gates
8/23/2005: Signed a six-year, $24 million contract. The deal included a $6 million signing bonus and contains $10.5 million in total guarantees. 2008: $3 million, 2009: $3.25 million, 2010: $3.625 million, 2011: Free Agent.

Jason Witten
7/22/2006: Signed a six-year, $29 million contract extension through 2012. The deal included a $6 million signing bonus and a $6 million option bonus in the second year. 2008: $1.905 million, 2009: $2.5 million, 2010: $2.641 million, 2011: $3.391 million, 2012: $3.641 million, 2013: Free Agent.

Is Owen Daniels as good as Gates or Witten? Probably not, at least not yet. That said, those deals came a few years ago, and they may be a little outdated. Daniels would probably be looking for about a five-year deal. How many zeros would it take for Daniels to sign? Probably something in the neighborhood of $35 million with $10 million guaranteed. That would make for these possible cap numbers: 2009--$3.5 mil, 2010--$5 mil, 2011--$7 mil, 2012--$9 mil, and 2013--$10.5 mil.

Contract year?

That's great that you're looking one, two, or even five years down the road, but what does any of this mean this season? Contract years in the NFL are funny things. Players realize their future is on the line, and they tend to perform at an optimum level. Think back to Albert Haynesworth last year--he knew he was auditioning for his big payday, and he became the force everyone knew he had the talent to be.

Owen Daniels and Eric Winston both know they're in contract years, sort of. They will likely take their games up a notch because they can smell the cash every time they (or in Winston's case, the offense) find the end zone. Expect the strong side of the Texans line to change from gaping void to steel blue stampede this season as Daniels and Winston have a little bit of extra motivation to play for.

Back to Part 1 - Eric Winston

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