What went wrong? Tight ends

January, 17, 2014
Jan 17
3:03
PM ET
A 2-14 season leaves a lot of time for reflection, and I'm here to help you through it.

The Houston Texans had a lot of issues during the 2013 season and we're taking a position-by-position look at what went wrong.

So far we've looked at safeties, running backs, inside linebackers, receivers and outside linebackers.

Today, tight ends.

Daniels
Key players: Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, Ryan Griffin

What went wrong: Injuries. Sound familiar?

Before Daniels suffered a non-displaced fibula fracture in San Francisco, the Texans led the league in two-tight end sets. Makes sense given the quality of their personnel at the position. Daniels and Graham are both very strong starting caliber tight ends and both finished the season on injured reserve. Griffin was just a notch below them but mostly due to the rookie's lack of experience. The sixth-round pick in last year's draft proved to be one of the better selections the Texans made, especially given where they took him. Daniels is entering a contract year and Graham, of whom the Texans are fond, will become a free agent at the end of the league year in March.

Reason for hope?: There is plenty here as this is a talented group. I'd expect two of the Texans' top three tight ends to return to their 2014 roster. Re-signing Graham might mean saving a bit of cap space by releasing Daniels. But cutting Daniels would only save about 3.5 or the $6.25 million cap hit he's scheduled to cost in 2014. I wrote more about the issue a few weeks ago, with some thoughts from Daniels. I think Daniels' experience, leadership and the fact he's still playing well make him worth keeping around.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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