According to Adam Schefter, Rick Smith is going to step away from the Texans temporarily, and his reason for doing so has nothing to do with Bill O’Brien or the team’s performance.
Texans’ GM Rick Smith is taking an extended leave of absence to take care of his wife, Tiffany, who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer, per a team source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2017
Rick Smith has apparently been in and out of Arizona with his wife throughout the past season as she was undergoing treatment, according to Schefter.
Texans’ GM Rick Smith, who is taking leave effective immediately, has been tending to his wife, Tiffany, throughout this season, while she has been undergoing treatment in Arizona.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2017
Here is a statement from Rick Smith:
The news was revealed shortly following the Texans’ 22-13 season-ending loss to the Colts.
This certainly makes things interesting and thickens the plot as Black Monday rolls along and the future of Rick Smith and head coach Bill O’Brien allegedly hung in the balance. Reports of what would happen ranged from O’Brien receiving an extension and Smith being re-assigned to O’Brien forcing Bob McNair to fire Rick Smith or threatening to walk.
BRB wishes Rick Smith’s wife Tiffany a speedy recovery and the Smith family well during their time in need.
UPDATE: Rick Smith spoke to the media today. He discussed his wife’s breast cancer and his plans for the upcoming season. Smith confirmed that he would take an extended leave of absence that will span at least the 2018 season but will retain his title as executive vice president. Although it seems likely the Texans will hire a new general manager to make roster decisions, it will be up to Bob McNair as to whether a replacement is named.
#Texans executive Vice President Rick Smith gets emotional when talking about his wife Tiffany who is battling breast cancer: "Inspirational. I'm proud of her. We are walking through this together. We are asking God for his guidance and direction." pic.twitter.com/m4JpCiZAEs— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 1, 2018