HOUSTON (AP) – Pro Bowl tight end Owen Daniels has agreed to a new contract with the Houston Texans.
A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move Thursday, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Daniels had not yet signed the deal. Daniels and Texans general manager Rick Smith did not immediately return messages left seeking comment.
KRIV-TV and the Houston Chronicle, who first reported the deal, said it was for four years and the newspaper said it was worth about $22 million. Daniels agreed to the deal just hours before the league’s collective bargaining agreement was due to expire.
The 28-year-old Daniels made the Pro Bowl after the 2008 season, when he caught 70 passes for 862 yards and two touchdowns.
He played in 11 games last year and started 10 after coming back from reconstructive surgery on his right knee. He caught 38 passes for 471 yards and two touchdowns in 2010, then became a restricted free agent after the season.
Houston took Daniels in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, and he became a cornerstone for one of the NFL’s most passing prolific offenses.
Daniels ranks third in franchise history in yards receiving, behind Andre Johnson (9,164) and Kevin Walter (3,091). In his Pro Bowl season, Daniels and Johnson formed the most productive receiver-tight end pairing in the NFL that year, with 185 total receptions and 2,437 yards.
Daniels has the distinction of being the first Texan to catch a touchdown reception in a Pro Bowl. He tore his right anterior cruciate ligament midway through the 2009 season and underwent surgery in November.
He was on schedule to be ready for the start of training camp until the spring, when doctors found a stress fracture in his right kneecap, a potentially career-threatening setback. He stayed off the knee for weeks, it healed on its own and he played in Houston’s 2010 opener, a 34-24 win over Indianapolis.
FoxSportsHouston.com reported Thursday that running back Derrick Ward has agreed to a one-year contract with Houston.
Ward played in all 16 games in his first season with the Texans, backing up Arian Foster, who was the NFL’s leading rusher in 2010. Ward rushed for 315 yards on 50 carries with four touchdowns.
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