By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Houston Texas general manager Rick Smith is taking a leave of absence. He’s leaving the team for the time-being to take care of his wife, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Smith made this announcement amid speculation that he could be fired for football reasons. A recent report by Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson said that his relationship with head coach Bill O’Brien was toxic.
Yet, on Sunday morning, Schefter reported that the Texans were going to retain Bill O’Brien for another season. Now, with Smith out, it is not clear if O’Brien will have a larger role in personnel decisions.
“Effective immediately, I have chosen to take an extended leave of absence to focus my attention and intention on my wife’s complete recovery from her recent diagnosis of breast cancer,” Smith said in a statement. “I remain committed to our quest to bring a championship to the city of Houston yet my family needs me now and they are my priority.”
The Texans ended their season with a loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. They fell to 4-12.
In the NFL Draft, the Texans will be without their first-round draft pick and their second-round draft pick, which were traded to the Cleveland Browns.
Smith, a former executive with the Denver Broncos, has been the Texans general manager since June 5th, 2006. He was their general manager from 20006 through 2012.
Since the 2012 season, he has served as the general manager and executive vice president.
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