After operating for months without a formal general manager, the Houston Texans have awarded the title to head coach Bill O’Brien.
Texans CEO Cal McNair has named O’Brien the general manager and promoted executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby to be O’Brien’s right-hand man as executive vice president of football operations.
The Texans fired general manager Brian Gaine last June in a stunning move that arrived after Gaine oversaw the team’s draft and free-agency decisions.
The team has operated without a general manager since.
McNair acknowledged that O’Brien has been the de facto GM since Gaine was dismissed.
“I thought it was important to update titles for Bill O’Brien and Jack Easterby so they more accurately reflect the way we have been operating for the last eight months,” McNair wrote in a statement. I was encouraged by the progress that our team made on the field this year.”
No new deal for O’Brien
Neither O’Brien nor Easterby will receive an extension or a raise, according to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, who broke the news.
The Texans reportedly sought New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio to replace Gaine last year before the Patriots filed tampering charges against Houston.
Texans’ moves under O’Brien
The Texans went on to make significant personnel moves under O’Brien’s watch. Houston dealt disgruntled Pro Bowl pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks for a third-round draft pick and outside linebackers Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin in August.
The deal was met with criticism as the Texans dealt an elite defender in his prime without receiving equitable compensation in return as the team has playoff and Super Bowl aspirations.
The Texans also gave up a significant package of draft picks to the Miami Dolphins in a deal for left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills. The Dolphins received two first-round picks and a second-round pick as part of a package in return.
The Texans advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs this season, where they lost to the Kanas City Chiefs after blowing a 24-0 first-quarter lead.
Was Rooney Rule addressed?
The Texans interviewed Martin Mayhew and Ray Farmer for the position last offseason before declining to hire anybody.
It’s unclear if last year’s interviews meet the NFL’s Rooney Rule requiring teams to interview a minority candidate for a head coach or general manager vacancy.
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