NFL free agency started on Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT and it’s a day that changes lives on the field and off of it.
On Tuesday, the Texans cut tight end Owen Daniels, their second-longest tenured player and a fan favorite. Daniels was a veteran leader in Houston and was elected to two Pro Bowls during his eight seasons in a Texans uniform. To Andre Johnson, the only player who has been suiting up at Reliant Stadium longer than Daniels, it’s part of the game.
“I learned that my rookie year,” Johnson said on Monday about free agency. “I had a guy that’s locker was next to mine. You see him everyday and then one day you come in and he’s not there and you’re like “where is he?”. I didn’t understand that coming from college. You can be here one day and gone the next."
The NFL is a business and everyone involved knows that. But that doesn’t make it hard on players when friendships are established over countless road trips, practices and team meetings.
“It’s tough man,” Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph said shaking his head. “Anytime you lose a guy, you lose a teammate it’s tough. Because you become close to guys over the years and they have a family and feelings and things like that. Playing in this league for eight, nine years I’ve seen locker rooms change from week-to-week and it never surprises me.”
The goal of the NFL is to win games. Players, general managers and coaches all know that. Even with friendships broken up with roster moves, winning is still the most important thing.
“No matter who is on your team, you always want to add to your team and make your team better,” Johnson said.