Texans GM Rick Smith taking extended family medical leave

Hope Soto
January 1, 2018

In the statement, Smith said his wife, Tiffany, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. We are faithful and trust in God's promise of healing and Wholeness. He also thanked team owner Bob McNair and his family for their support as he spends more time with his family. This was an extremely hard decision for me to make as I love this organization and every member of this team both on and off the field.

His leave of absence comes after a hard 4-12 season for the Texans that brought rumors of a "toxic" relationship between Smith and coach Bill O'Brien. Should McNair decide to punt and put off the decision until O'Brien's contract expires next year, sources say the Texans could be maintaining a hard work environment. He's had three 9-7 seasons and won two AFC South titles, but the Texans have collapsed to 4-11 this year after star rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his ACL.

Indianapolis Colts' Frank Gore (23) is tackled by Houston Texans' Andre Hal (29) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Indianapolis.

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The news about Smith's wife obviously has changed the story dramatically.

The great news is, Watson will have O'Brien, whom he prefers, coaching him next year. Assistant GM Brian Gaine is a strong in-house candidate who has interviewed for other GM jobs in the past.

Smith's priorities are understandably and appropriately elsewhere with his wife undergoing treatment, so handing personnel control to someone else may be a sound decision for all involved with the Texans.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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