The Houston Texans should re-sign tight end Garrett Graham this offseason.
I like Graham. I thought he played relatively well on an inept Texans offense last season that had a below-average quarterback rotation, a below-average offensive line, a running game that didn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher and an offense that had a few too many injuries to overcome.
I’m not saying Graham, who ended the season on the IR, is the best tight end in the game or anything, but I believe there is still some untapped potential with him, and pairing him up with a healthy Owen Daniels in 2014 (if the Texans don’t release Daniels) could be a big deal under head coach Bill O’Brien.
Graham, an unrestricted free agent, in 13 games (11 starts) had 49 receptions for 545 yards and five touchdowns. His longest reception this past season was 42 yards as the four-year player averaged 11.1 yards per receptions. He also had two fumbles, losing one.
A 6-3, 243-pound tight end, Graham (who was drafted out of Wisconsin) scored three touchdowns in the first four games of the season. Then he didn’t have a TD until Week 11 against the Oakland Raiders. His final TD of the 2013 season came in Week 14 at Jacksonville.
His best game of the season was against the Raiders, where he had seven receptions for 136 yards and the one TD. That game is where Graham had his 42-yard reception.
I really believe Graham can shine in O’Brien’s offense. Look how well the two-TE set worked in New England when O’Brien was their offensive coordinator. That success can happen in Houston as well.
In an ESPN Insiders article by fantasy insider Tom Carpenter, he wrote:
“Among those who could benefit from O’Brien’s play-calling may be their tight ends. Granted, their corps may not be as talented as the Pats tight ends with whom O’Brien worked (Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez), but O’Brien should be able to get the most out of the decent pass-catching talent the Texans do have at that position.”
Tania Ganguli, also of ESPN, wrote about the tight ends this offseason:
“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.”
The Texans should really think hard about re-signing Graham (and keeping Daniels). It would be a mistake to let Graham walk. Of all of the tight ends on the Texans’ roster, Graham has the most upside to help the offense in the next few seasons.
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