There’s not much that qualifies as a stunning move in the NFL these days, but the Houston Texans pulled one off on June 7 when they fired general manager Brian Gaine after only 18 months on the job.
Texans owner Cal McNair acknowledged that it was odd timing, and things are going to remain odd, or at least unconventional, for the near future.
Report: No GM for 2019
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday afternoon that the Texans will not be hiring a new general manager for the 2019 season.
Instead, the team will “divvy up those responsibilities amongst existing front-office members such as Matt Bazirgan, James Liipfert, Chris Olsen and Jack Easterby, per league sources. But no GM in 2019 for Houston.”
Bazirgan, the director of player personnel, has been with Houston since May 2018; Liipfert, the director of college scouting, also joined the team just last year. Olsen is in his first season as senior vice president of football administration but has been with the team for over a decade.
Easterby joined the Texans in April as vice president of team development.
Could Texans try for Nick Caserio in 2020?
The Texans had interviewed only San Francisco 49ers front-office executive Martin Mayhew and former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer.
But they also had a lot of interest in New England Patriots de facto GM Nick Caserio, who is connected to many people within the Texans organization.
The Patriots filed tampering charges against Houston because of the Texans’ pursuit of Caserio, and the Texans stopped whatever they were doing to try to get Caserio to join their organization.
New England held their Super Bowl ring gala on June 6, which was attended by Easterby and Caserio; the next day, Houston fired Gaine. It’s unknown at this point whether those two things are related — i.e. whether Easterby gauged Caserio’s interest in joining Houston and got an affirmative response — but the timing was interesting.
With more time, will Houston make another play for Caserio?
Does this give Bill O’Brien more power?
Does this mean that coach Bill O’Brien will have more power? O’Brien is starting his sixth season as Texans head coach, and already won out in a struggle with the GM that hired him, Rick Smith.
Smith announced at the time that he was taking an extended leave of absence to care for his wife, Tiffany, who was battling breast cancer (she has since died), but he and O’Brien were not on good terms at the time.
O’Brien wanted Gaine, but that relationship didn’t last long.
It’s hard to fight with a GM when there isn’t one.
The Texans won their third AFC South title of O’Brien’s tenure last season, but are 1-3 in those postseason games.
More from Yahoo Sports: