Tight end Owen Daniels signed his restricted free agent tender offer, the team announced today. Daniels was not present Monday at the first day of the team's mandatory three-day mini-camp.
"I am glad he signed and I am counting on Owen to be a big part of this football team," coach Gary Kubiak said.
Daniels' signing does not preclude the team from reaching a long-term contract extension with him.
"We think that Owen Daniels is one of the top tight ends in football," general manager Rick Smith said. "We think he is a very, very important piece to our football team and our organization and we are going to try to put a deal together that is reflective of that."
Daniels (6-3, 245) is the franchise's all-time leading receiver at the tight end position with 167 career receptions for 1,982 yards (11.8 avg.) and 10 touchdowns in three seasons. He earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl last season, and he became the first Texans player to score in the Pro Bowl with a nine-yard touchdown catch.
Daniels caught 70 passes for 862 yards (12.3 avg.) in 2008, both of which were career highs, and scored two touchdowns. He ranked second among AFC tight ends in receiving yards (862) and first downs (46), third in receptions (70) and yards per catch, and fourth in yards per game (53.9).
Daniels becomes the fifth restricted free agent to re-sign with the Texans this offseason, joining wide receiver David Anderson, tackle Rashad Butler, tight end Joel Dreessen and defensive end Stanley McClover. Houston has also re-signed unrestricted free agent strong safety Nick Ferguson, center Chris White and free safety Eugene Wilson and has placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on cornerback Dunta Robinson.
Following are the free agents the Texans have re-signed (8):