Rex Grossman, Owen Daniels Add Drama To Texans Minicamp

Chad Washington@@ChadDWashingtonContributor IJune 16, 2009

So it's like this...basketball season is finally over, the Astros look and play like the mediocre team that they are, and the Comets are no more. So where's the drama going to be in Houston for the summertime?

Well, what a surprise here! It's at the Texans camp!

The team that rarely has internal conflicts have seen three of its top players each grumble about not getting rewarded for their successful seasons as Texans with incentive-laden contracts. The latest grumpy player is tight end Owen Daniels, who signed a $2.7 million tender for one year, but still is a no-show for mini-camp.

This coming after cornerback Dunta Robinson demanded more money and a longer contract, but was tabbed as the franchise player and will get $9.9 million this season.

He didn't show up for mini-camp, but he can't be fined because his deal hasn't been signed yet. That might rankle head coach Gary Kubiak and the front office.

Linebacker DeMeco Ryans also wants a new deal, but he did show up for mini-camp. He's only making $1.3 million this season, and he needs another Pro Bowl-type season for him to make major bank.

While Kubiak thinks all these contract messes will work themselves out and not be a distraction when training camp begins, it could become a growing problem for a team that is one or two free agents away from being a really good team.

But if the Texans are unable or unwilling to sign its top players now, what will other free agents think about that in the next offseason?

But with signing two quarterbacks that started games last season in the NFC North, training camp could be interesting this year. Dan Orlovsky and Rex Grossman, castoffs from the Lions and Bears, respectively, will battle for the right to be Matt Schaub's backup. The question is which is the lesser of two evils?

You can give Orlovsky a mulligan for playing on a really bad Detroit team, but how much? He did have a great receiver in Calvin Johnson to throw to, but that was when he was very young and still learning the ropes in the NFL. And the Texans did throw a lot of money at him, which must mean that they believe he's a pretty good player.

But then why sign Grossman? He did lead Chicago to the Super Bowl, but that was more of the players around him. His confidence has to be shot after being decimated day after day on Chicago talk radio and on Bears' fan pages. But could a new start get him to be the quarterback that he was supposed to be back in 2002?

The quarterback duel will be just one of the things to look at when Texans training camp opens, including how the rookies are doing, especially linebacker Brian Cushing. And what new contract disputes will pop up?

Looks like it going to be a hot summer here in Houston, in more ways than one.

 

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