The similarity between Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson and Texans tight end Owen Daniels is that both want lucrative long-term deals.
The difference is that Robinson hasn’t signed a contract, and Daniels has.
So Robinson can hold out without consequence. Daniels can’t.
Asked whether Daniels has told coach Gary Kubiak that Daniels will be at camp, Kubiak said in quotes provided by the team, “I’m not going to get into that. I expect him to be here.
He’s under contract.”
Kubiak had previously addressed Daniels’ status, with the same message: “I expect Owen to
be in here tomorrow. He’s under contract. I expect him to be here.”
But there’s reason to believe Kubiak shouldn’t hold his breath. Sure, Daniels signed his one-year, $2.79 million restricted free agent tender in June, which on the surface indicates a willingness to honor it. The context, however, suggests otherwise.
Daniels accepted the $2.79 million salary for 2009 the day before the Texans could have decreased the offer by more than $2.2 million, all the way down to the fourth-year minimum of $535,000.
So what’s a week or two of $17,000-per-day fines?
The stakes will increase as of August 15, the date of the team’s preseason opener. Under the labor agreement with the union, Daniels would be subject to a fine in the amount of a regular season game check if he doesn’t show.
Based on a $2.79 million salary for the 17-week season, Daniels would owe more than $164,000 for each exhibition game he skips.
Still, unless and until he racks up $2.2 million in fines, he’s still ahead of where he would have been if he hadn’t signed his one-year tender on June 14.
The big-money deal that the Steelers paid to tight end Heath Miller earlier this week likely has done nothing to soften Daniels’ resolve, and if we were inclined to place a wager, we’d risk a couple of scratch-and-lose lottery tickets on the proposition that Daniels won’t show up.