Rotoworld recently took a stab at ranking the current crop of NFL General Managers. Personally, I find their number one ranked GM curious, considering all the duties that go into what a GM does, but I guess you can’t argue with a large sample size of superior results. (Spoiler - he’s much better at his “other duties” than he is at his GM duties).
New Texans GM Brian Gaine has of course been relegated to the unranked “new hires” section. Here are Rotworld’s early thoughts on Gaine:
Brian Gaine, Texans
It had become a matter of when, not if, Texans coach Bill O’Brien and GM Rick Smith would part. They simply could not get on the same page. Sadly, their inevitable split was not football related. Smith has taken an indefinite leave of absence after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. When he returns, it will be as executive vice president, not general manager. In his place, the Texans have hired Brian Gaine, who returns after a one-year stint in the Bills’ front office. Gaine arrived in Houston at the same time as O’Brien in 2014, and talks as if the two are football soulmates. “Bill and I are very philosophically aligned in terms of how to do that, how to build a right program,” Gaine gushed after his hiring. Message sent. The two spent free agency trying to upgrade the Texans’ depressingly bad offensive line, signing C Zach Fulton, OG Senio Kelemete and OT Seantrel Henderson. There are no franchise changers in that group, but they do provide badly needed depth and a little upside. The Texans had little to work with in the draft after last year’s trade up for Deshaun Watson. As is the case so many other places, it’s the quarterback who will decide which direction Gaine’s Texans tenure heads.
There’s a lot of presumptive material in those thoughts about the split between O’Brien and Smith. “Not football related”... hmmm, yeah, I don’t know about all that, but I’ve already spun my wheels on how I feel like that split really went down. It was a confluence of many factors, but the result is what’s important, so I’ll leave it at that.
Time will tell how well Gaine has done with his 2018 draft and free agency classes, but I feel better (on paper) this year than I have in some years in the recent past (not including last season).
Who do you think is the best general manager in the NFL? Additionally, based only on speculation (obviously), has Brian Gaine thus far exceeded or fallen short of your expectations in the realm of addressing needs and replenishing talent? Please weigh in below and find a way to enjoy another football-free weekend.