Despite all of it—the trade of DeAndre Hopkins, the hilarious contracts that were handed out to veterans who never would have gotten that kind of money anywhere else, the decisions made in the name of a culture that no one wants to play in, the promise to keep Deshaun Watson in the loop on the general manager and head coach searches only to ignore him completely, the hiring of a general manager while reportedly offering the job to and negotiating contract terms with another candidate, and said franchise quarterback quietly discussing those vile words ”trade request” with those around him—Cal McNair has now reportedly stated that Jack Easterby will not be fired and will maintain a non-personnel management role with the Houston Texans.
McNair takes responsibility for state of the organization: 'If players, media and fans are upset, that’s on me. And I’ll apologize for my actions or communications that created mistrust. I accept the fans’ frustration. I’ll listen and learn' https://t.co/dVGVqWy4VG— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 15, 2021
From John McClain’s article:
Asked if he would fire Easterby, McNair said, “No.”
Asked if Easterby would be resigning, he said, “No, not that I know of.”
“The scrutiny on Jack is really unjustified,” McNair said. “Jack was put into that role (interim GM) the organization needed by me. If missteps were made during that process, we’ll own those within our building. Jack will (return) to the role he was brought here for and what he grew into after he got here.”
As for Watson, the quarterback who’s unhappy because he wasn’t kept up to date on the general manager search that brought Nick Caserio to the Texans, McNair said, “Deshaun and I connected over text since he’s returned from vacation. It’s no secret he’s disappointed in the (lack of) communication during the hiring process.”
The issue of course wasn’t what was outlined by Cal McNair. The real issue is that change is hard, and that it was a lack of communication that created mistrust. The 4-12 season didn’t do that. Turning DeAndre Hopkins into peanuts didn’t. Making Watson struggle to enjoy playing the game of football this year didn’t. Cal McNair and Jack Easterby did it. Their failure to clearly define, or better yet limit, Easterby’s role within the organization did it. Cal McNair and Nick Caserio have skittered past providing actual answers about these problems every time either have had the opportunity to do so.
All of this has come after there were reports that Easterby could be on his way out. Who knows if more drama and the continuation of this saga could lead to McNair finally doing what he should have already done and firing Easterby, or Easterby walking away on his own or with a push (note how McNair said Easterby isn’t resigning to McNair’s knowledge, which does feasibly leave wiggle room for Easterby to separate from the organization at some point down the road), or if it leads to star players continuing to express a desire to leave the Texans.
Whatever happens, the answer is simple. The Houston Texans need to rid themselves of Jack Easterby one way or another.