The Houston Texans fired general manager Brian Gaine on Friday, despite Gaine having more than three years remaining on his contract.
The Houston Texans shook up their front office in firing general manager Brian Gaine on Friday.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported the news, indicating executive senior vice president Chris Olsen will assume Gaine’s duties in the interim.
Gaine still had 3.5 years remaining on his five-year contract with Houston, per McClain.
An official statement confirming Gaine’s dismissal came through the Texans’ official PR Twitter feed:
Houston had enjoyed a relatively stable personnel leadership situation under former GM and executive vice president of football operations Rick Smith.
Unfortunately, the long-tenured Smith had to take a leave of absence on Dec. 31, 2017, to care for his wife after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
According to the Texans’ official website, Olsen has been with the franchise for 12 years running, and is chiefly responsible for salary cap management and player contract negotiations.
Although there’s something to be said for continuity, this expansion of duties is a lot for Olsen to take on. It’s vital for Houston to find Gaine’s replacement soon.
Otherwise, this could be reminiscent of the Cleveland Browns when they had former salary cap strategist and player contract negotiator Sashi Brown as executive VP of football operations during their 1-31 stretch amid the 2016 and ’17 seasons.
The good news is the Texans aren’t in such dire straits. They’re coming off a playoff appearance and have two of the NFL’s premier players at key positions.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson is among the brightest young stars in football, while multiple All-Pro J.J. Watt is an emotional and by-example leader for the defense.
Regardless of who’s in charge moving forward, Houston must place a continued premium on protecting Watson. The dynamic signal-caller suffered a league-high 62 sacks last season.
Gaine drafted offensive tackles Tytus Howard and Max Sharping in the first and second rounds respectively of the 2019 draft, but that appears to have been too little, too late.
Star defender Jadeveon Clowney was reportedly placed on the trade block in April in lieu of a long-term contract agreement, which may have also sealed Gaine’s fate.
Seeing as how Olsen is the main authority on those negotiations, it doesn’t reflect well on him, either.