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GM Rick Smith or Coach Bill O’Brien – Who Goes for the Texans Come Monday?

The Texans are expected to fire either head coach Bill O’Brien or general manager Rick Smith at the end of the season to shake up the team’s power structure according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

The relationship between O’Brien and Smith has long been described as “toxic” and the team’s disastrous, injury-plagued 2017 season clearly has not improved the atmosphere. That has left owner Bob McNair with little choice but to choose between them going into 2018 and at this point it is unclear which one will remain in Houston. O’Brien was rumored to be on the hot seat last offseason for the same reasons — but the situation is at a point of no return.

O’Brien is entering into the final year of his contract in 2018 and if he is fired-he has repeatedly said he will not quit-or becomes available in a complicated coaching trade, he would likely be considered the hottest coaching candidate on the market. His name has already been linked to the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants and he would also be a hot name in Detroit and Tennessee if those jobs become available, as he has ties with the GMs in both those cities through their days working in the Patriots organization.

While O’Brien’s coaching pedigree is impressive and he is extremely popular with the players, do not count out Rick Smith in this scenario. Smith is under contract through 2020 after signing an extension last season and has a close personal relationship with both the owner and his son Cal, who is the Texans Texans vice chairman and chief operating officer. Smith is in his 12th season as general manager and seventh as executive vice president of football operations.

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