The Houston Texans have landed the biggest name in the 2014 coaching pool. Bill O'Brien will leave Penn State to return to the NFL, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday evening:
Filed to ESPN from me and @mortreport: Bill O'Brien has reached agreement to become the new head coach of the Houston Texans, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 1, 2014
O'Brien was the offensive coordinator of the Patriots during some of their most productive years in the mid-2000s. He coached at Penn State for two years and is widely credited with helping burnish the university's reputation in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
O'Brien recently renegotiated his contract to reduce the amount of buyout necessary for an NFL team to pay. That amount is estimated at less than $7 million, though it is not yet certain how much of that the Texans will be liable to pay.
After starting 2-0, Houston lost its final 14 games and has the first pick in April's NFL draft.