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Monday, June 15, 2009
Daniels skips first day of minicamp

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Texans tight end Owen Daniels signed his restricted free-agent tender Sunday but was not at the first day of the team's mandatory three-day minicamp Monday.

Daniels is in line for a fine of almost $10,000 for missing the mandatory session while under contract. A player cannot be fined further than that for missing additional days and it's unclear if Daniels intends to skip all three days.

"We're happy that he elected to come in and sign his tender and be a part of the football team again; a little disappointed that he's not here today," general manager Rick Smith said. "We've talked about this process and how complicated it is. At some point I am sure Owen will rejoin his teammates and be back and playing productive football."

Daniels' agent, Dave Butz, did not immediately return a phone message or an e-mail.

The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday that the Texans had offered Daniels a contract that would make him one of the highest-paid tight ends in the league. His one-year tender as a restricted free agent is worth $2.79 million.

"We think that Owen Daniels is one of the top tight ends in football and we think that he is a very, very important piece to our football team, to our organization," Smith said. "And we're going to try to put a deal together that's reflective of that."

The team has concluded its 14 days of organized team activities and this mandatory minicamp is the capper before things slow down until training camp.

Coach Gary Kubiak had younger players on the field while veterans were inside Reliant Stadium for training sessions, but Daniels was a no-show.

"I'm glad he signed, I'm counting on Owen, he's a big part of this football team," Kubiak said.

Paul Kuharsky covers the AFC South for ESPN.com.