Texans GM Rick Smith taking extended family medical leave

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There had been considerable speculation the Texans would fire O'Brien and choose general manager Rick Smith in an apparent power struggle a Houston Chronicle report called "toxic".

Smith and his wife, Tiffany, have three children. I am eternally grateful to the McNair family for their unwavering support during this trying time. 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.

The drama surrounding the Houston Texans internal battle between GM Rick Smith and coach Bill O'Brien has temporarily resolved itself with an unfortunate twist. The most notable incident was Smith signing QB Brock Osweiler without consulting O'Brien prior to the 2016 season.

O'Brien has one season remaining on a five-year deal he signed when he became the Texans' coach in 2014.

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Earlier this month, O'Brien said that he "will never quit as head football coach of the Houston Texans". I have a boss, and he controls that.

This comes after recent reports of a growing rift between coach Bill O'Brien and Smith.

Smith released a statement on Sunday after the Texans' 22-13 Week 17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

They will apparently retain him again for 2018, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who writes that while O'Brien is likely to be back, there are "issues" to be worked out with his contract.