The Houston Texans have operated without a general manager for an entire season now. After last week’s postseason loss in Kansas City to the Chiefs, Bill O’Brien reiterated that the Texans are not looking to fill the vacancy at GM before next season either. Is this true? I don’t know. You can never entirely believe what any coach says when he takes the podium. Regardless, it’s expected that the Texans will maintain the same flat organizational structure they featured in 2019, where the general manager position is split up amongst multiple employees, like the serpent heads of a Greek monster.
Last night, however, we learned that one of the heads was sliced off. Chris Olsen, Senior Vice President of Football Administration, was fired last night. We found out about this during the NFC Championship Game; unfortunately for Bill O’Brien, the game between the Packers and 49ers was a blowout, so Olsen’s sudden dismissal became the central news story in Houston.
Chris Olsen was the chief contract negotiator for the Texans. He managed their salary cap. To me, it seemed like he did a fine job. The Texans have signed bad players in free agency and paid too much to retain their own, but they don’t have an albatross contract on the roster and aren’t in cap hell. Currently, they have $55 million in cap space. They can do they things like release Vernon Hargreaves III, Zach Fulton, and Angelo Blackson or negotiate an extension with J.J. Watt to clear more cap space as well.
Maybe Bill O’Brien was upset the Texans didn’t give Tyrann Mathieu more money last offseason. Maybe he and Olsen were feuding over potential Laremy Tunsil or Deshaun Watson extensions. I don’t know. But this move seems bizarre. It will be interesting to see what O’Brien has to say about it when he meets with the media next, whenever that is.
In the meantime, O’Brien and Jack Easterby are molding the organization into the exact shape they want. They answer to no one but Cal McNair.
Stay tuned for more changes in the Texans' organization as O'Brien and Easterby solidity their power and reshape the personnel side of the operation in their image. They answer only to Cal McNair.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 20, 2020
Good luck, everybody.