With Owen Daniels, James Casey and Garret Graham, the tight end position appeared to be a strength for the Houston Texans but is now possibly a weakness, as pointed out by Kubiak last week, “We’ve normally had a physical tight end around here to go with O.D. (Owen Daniels). We don’t have that presence right now. That’s something Rick (Smith) and I are looking at.”
Is Daniel Graham the Only Answer Available?
One viable option is former first round pick and veteran Daniel Graham. Although not official, Adam Schefter has reported via Twitter that the Titans plan to cut tight end Daniel Graham. If this holds true, Graham is a veteran blocking tight end with Super Bowl experience (New England Patriots) and at 6’3” 260 lbs he fits the physical presence Kubiak so desires. However, Graham isn’t limited to just being a blocker and he has had some productive pass catching years, most notably with the Patriots in 2004 when he racked up 7 touchdowns.
Graham, who played in all 16 games for the Tennessee Titans in 2011, would be best utilized in short yardage and goal line situations for run blocking with an occasional play action pass in the back of the endzone a la Joel Dreessen. Graham also brings the Super Bowl leadership to a Texans’ roster that currently has only two other players with such experience – Daniel Manning and Antonio Smith. However, Graham would be the only player with winning experience in the Super Bowl.
One glowing deterrent is salary and Graham was set to make $2 million with the Titans this year. Graham will have to realize he will not get that type of money on the open market since being released, but one thing the Texans have going for them is the fact that they are projected to win and a 10 year veteran such as Graham may just take less money to end his career on a winning team.