Why the Houston Texans are handling the GM vacancy correctly

Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

By now you’ve surely heard it, the Houston Texans don’t have a general manager, and here is why I think they’re going about it the right way.

The Houston Texans made a surprising decision when they chose to relieve former general manager Brian Gaine of his duties. For starters, it wasn’t widely known that Gaine and head coach Bill O’Brien weren’t getting along, but it also was odd because O’Brien played a part in Gaine getting hired.

While the latter is true, there is much more to that point that’s gone unnoticed. The Texans settled for Gaine after the New England Patriots blocked a Nick Caserio interview in early 2018.

It wasn’t like Gaine was the Texans top choice, they eventually settled on him because they couldn’t get their guy in Caserio. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that it didn’t work out long-term because the Texans really didn’t want Gaine in the first place.

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So after seeing it not work out with Gaine, they figured they would try their hand at Caserio again 17 months later. This time it seemed the talks got closer as they were at least able to interview Caserio, but in the end the Patriots intervened, threatening tampering charges this time.

So now the Texans have decided to leave the GM vacancy open, much to the ire of the media. But it makes alot of sense because Caserio’s contract is up at the end of the NFL Draft in 2020.

So why hire a general manager when the guy you’ve been wanting will be available in less than a year? Wouldn’t it look worse to bring someone in only to later have them move to a different role or lesser role?

Who is to say blank GM is someone Caserio would even want on his staff? If the area of concern with this strategy of leaving the GM role vacant is the fact that O’Brien hasn’t quite earned the ability to make roster decisions, then sure I’d agree with that.

If O’Brien is going to have a say in roster decisions if or when Caserio is presumably brought in, then why not let O’Brien get more familiarity in the meantime?

This is the real reason why the Texans are leaving their GM role open. Not because they are incompetent or not because they can’t get someone to take the job, but instead because they know the guy they’ve wanted all along will finally be available in less than a year.

Not to mention they’ve already got people Caserio is familiar with in Jack Easterby and O’Brien, both from their New England days, so he’d already have linchpins of his desired staff upon joining the Texans.

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So, while I understand its convenient to bash the Texans and spin the narrative into how foolish they are, the narrative should instead be how this is a strategic move for the Texans to hold out and wait for their guy.