Everybody’s got their favorites. The Broncos new head coach is certainly no different. Since being drafted in 2006, tight end Owen Daniels has been Gary Kubiak’s guy. Kubiak has been either the head coach or offensive coordinator for all eight of Daniels’ NFL seasons. That’ll remain the case in his ninth year. This afternoon, Daniels signed a three-year, $12M contract to rejoin Kubiak with the Denver Broncos.
Daniels was drafted by Kubiak’s Houston Texans in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft, and the pair haven’t looked back since. Kubiak showered Daniels with praise in a statement released by the Broncos on Tuesday afternoon, “Owen is a great player and an even better person and teammate. He is a leader and the type of guy you want on your football team” Kubiak said.
For General Manager John Elway, Daniels is an experienced leader who can help implement Kubiak’s offensive scheme, “He’s a versatile, well rounded and proven player in this league. Owen has a lot of experience playing for Gary and knows the offense,” Elway emphasized, “We’re glad to have him as a Bronco.”
On a day filled with blockbuster trades, $30M contracts, and Chip Kelly doing whatever the heck Chip Kelly is doing, Daniels’ signing was perhaps Tuesday’s most predictable move. Many around the league (including this writer) predicted it a month ago. However, that doesn’t mean his addition isn’t crucial for Denver.
Daniels is a two-time Pro Bowler, and the kind of all-around tight end the Broncos haven’t had in recent years. Based on the dollar figure in his contract, fans should expect to see Daniels as Denver’s starting tight end when training camp kicks off in August. He’s a veteran presence capable of adding toughness in the running game, and being a safety net for Peyton Manning in the short to intermediate passing game.
Coming off somewhat of a renaissance 2014 season in which he caught 48 passes for 4 touchdowns, Daniels is no doubt hoping to add to those numbers this season. He’ll have the chance to do that while being led by the only coach he’s ever known as a pro. Gary Kubiak got his favorite guy today. Perhaps by the time this season is over, Broncos fans will share their head coach’s enthusiasm about their team’s new tight end.
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