The Ravens have agreed to a one-year contract with former Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels, a move intended to form a strong tandem with primary tight end Dennis Pitta.
Daniels, 31, agreed to terms Thursday and is expected to travel to Baltimore as soon as Friday to take a physical and officially sign his contract.
The transaction reunites the two-time Pro Bowl selection with former Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who was hired this offseason as the Ravens' offensive coordinator.
Daniels also will be reunited with Brian Pariani, the same tight ends coach he played for with the Texans.
"I truly believe you can never have too many horses in the stable," veteran wide receiver Steve Smith said while hosting a youth football camp for children of active military at Ft. Belvoir, Va. "You can never have too many fast cars in your garage. What he brings, he knows this offense as well.
"He's been very effective in this offense. I can learn from him and kind of get some tidbits from him as well. He knows this offense a lot better than I do. I think what he brings to the table can benefit everyone, including myself."
Daniels was released in March largely because of his $6.25 million salary cap figure and the $4.5 million base salary he was scheduled to make this year.
As soon as Daniels was released, the Ravens began exploring the possibility of adding him after Pitta signed a five-year, $32 million contract in March to remain with the team.
Kubiak frequently implements double-tight end sets in his offense.
"I think Owen's going to be a great fit there since he already has so much knowledge of Gary Kubiak's offense and they ask a lot from their tight ends," said former Texans offensive tackle Eric Winston, who played with Daniels in Houston for several seasons. "He's going to be invaluable to the other guys, and he's a really, really good tight end. Him and Pitta, that's going to be a really hard combination to defend. Gary is really good at getting combinations, and it's tough for defenses to match up against Owen.
"Owen's a pro's pro. He has a cerebral mind for the game and is a smart guy. He's a worker. He stays in great shape. He's always working out and is a great route runner. Signing him was a no-brainer for the Ravens. They're going to be in so many two-tight end and three-tight end sets. It's going to be really tough for defenses, especially linebackers, to stop those athletic tight ends downfield. Are you going to line up in base or nickel [coverage] against them? It's kind of pick your poison."
Daniels, 31, spent the majority of last season on injured reserve with a broken fibula, limiting him to 24 receptions, 252 yards and three touchdowns.
He played in just five games.
"The unfortunate thing for Owen is he's been hurt a bit here and there, not through fault of his own," Winston said. "It's not like he's blowing out a hamstring or a ligament. He got fell on last year and just broke his leg."
In 2012, the former Wisconsin standout caught 62 passes for 716 yards and six touchdowns. Daniels, who did not return messages seeking comment, had a career-high 70 receptions for 862 yards during the 2008 season.
For his career, Daniels has 385 catches, 4,617 yards and 29 touchdowns. Since entering the NFL with the Texans in 2006 as a fourth-round draft pick, Daniels has the eighth-most catches and seventh-most receiving yards among league tight ends.
He also visited the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins earlier in free agency before agreeing to the deal with the Ravens.
The Ravens held discussions with former starting tight end Ed Dickson throughout free agency, but ultimately opted to go with Daniels instead of bringing back their 2010 third-round draft pick.
Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun