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Houston Texans GM Rick Smith taking leave of absence

Houston Texans GM Rick Smith taking leave of absence

Houston Texans GM Rick Smith taking leave of absence

The Houston Texans and general manager Rick Smith seemed to put all of their eggs in the Brock Osweiler basket two offseasons ago, which put the future of O'Brien in limbo because he's been expected to make the playoffs and win games there.

Smith has been the general manager for the franchise since 2006 and was elevated to an additional role as executive vice president in 2012.

Obviously, this is about much more than football.

Smith made the announcement Sunday after spending time away from the team. This was an extremely hard decision for me to make as I love this organization and every member of this team both on and off the field.

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But after the Texans 22-13 loss to the Colts, falling to 4-12 on the season, the following statement was released from Smith.

The latter role describes where Smith could move in Houston, opening the door for the well-regarded Raye to assume GM duties in conjunction with O'Brien gaining more power. On Sunday morning, ESPN reported Sunday morning that O'Brien is likely to be back in Houston in 2018.

O'Brien has one season remaining on a five-year deal he signed when he became the Texans' coach in 2014. I'm the head coach.

Last week, O'Brien said he would be willing to coach the final season without signing a contract extension and said earlier this month that he "will never quit as head football coach of the Houston Texans". He also would come with Bill Belichick's approval from his days on the Patriots staff. O'Brien is 31-32 in four seasons.

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