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Owen Daniels decides to rehab with the Texans

Remember all that tough talk from Texans tight end Owen Daniels, who was going to hold out of training camp to protest a second straight season operating under a restricted free agency tender? That guy doesn’t work here anymore.

The man who claims he’s Owen Daniels has reported to the team’s training facility without the long-term extension he so desperately wants.

“I did not sign my tender, but the Texans stepped up and put a document together that allowed me to come out and still rehab and be around the guys, so it’s definitely an act of good faith on their part to protect themselves and me as well,” Daniels said in comments distributed by the team.

He makes it sound like some special document. It isn’t. It’s a letter of protection, the same document that every unsigned draft pick receives and that an increasing number of unsigned restricted free agents are signing. Basically, he’ll get his full $3.168 million if while rehabbing his torn ACL something happens to keep him from playing in 2010.

Daniels also echoed his comments from last week to Jim Rome regarding progress toward a long-term deal. “We’ve had some positive talks,” Daniels said. “They’ve indicated they want to get something done; we’ve just got to wait [until] I get healthy and cleared and see what happens.”

Daniels has more leverage than he possessed a year ago. In 2009, he had to sign his RFA tender by June 15 or risk having the team scale it back dramatically. This year, the team’s option to reduce the tender to 110 percent of his 2009 salary would result in a reduction from $3.168 million to $3.0712 million only.

So Daniels can choose to rehab only and avoid all other activities -- including training camp and the preseason -- unless and until he signs the offer. His risk is that the Texans would rescind the tender, making him a free agent long after the big money has been spent.