La Canfora’s Latest: Texans, Browns, Harbaugh

Let’s check out the latest from CBS Sports scribe Jason La Canfora:

  • The Texans are expected to make a change at general manager during the offseason, with current GM Rick Smith shifting into a new role that doesn’t involve football operations. Head coach Bill O’Brien will have significant input on who is hired to fill the position, and sources tell La Canfora that the club already has several candidates in mind. Patriots executive Nick Caserio would likely be O’Brien’s top choice, as the two worked together in New England. Other external options include the Eagles’ Tom Gamble and the Pats’ Jon Robinson, while internal candidates could include scouting director Mike Maccagnan and director of pro personnel Brian Gaine. Texans vice chariman Cal McNair has denied La Canfora’s report, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Meanwhile, changes could also be coming in Buffalo and Tennessee, writes La Canfora. Bills GM Doug Whaley doesn’t have a great relationship with head coach Doug Marrone, and given that the current Buffalo front office was responsible for the selection of E.J. Manuel, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the club completely overhaul its management team. Meanwhile, the Titans could opt to fire general manager Ruston Webster, and replace him with executive Lake Dawson.
  • The Browns are growing increasingly frustrated with both Josh Gordon and Johnny Manziel, sources tell La Canfora. Gordon, who was suspended for today’s game after missing a walkthrough on Saturday, will file a grievance against the team in order to maintain his free agent status after 2015. But Cleveland officials say Gordon “has to go,” although La Canfora says it’s unclear whether owner Jimmy Haslam is willing to trade the talented wideout. For his part, Manziel was also absent yesterday, and team security was forced to go to his house to retrieve him. The rookie quarterback reportedly threw a team party Friday night (which led to several Browns being late on Saturday), the latest questionable decision by a player who recently vowed to take the game more seriously.
  • Five clubs — the Raiders, Jets, 49ers, Falcons, and Bears — are expected to make coaching changes in the coming days. The Raiders still have their eye on Jim Harbaugh, but if he takes the Michigan job as expected, the club could bring in Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. And while the 49ers are expected to look at some of the younger offensive coaches during their search, the Jets, Falcons, and Bears are looking to hire an established head coach, per La Canfora. Rex Ryan is an option in Atlanta, though if the Falcons lose today and miss the playoffs, general manger Thomas Dimitroff could be axed there. In Chicago, the club could look to reunite Mike Shanahan with Jay Cutler.
  • The Raiders will indeed attempt to make their pitch to Harbaugh, and would even engage in trade talks with the 49ers if possible. La Canfora notes (via Twitter) that NFL executives won’t believe Harbaugh has a deal with Michigan until it’s officially signed.
  • Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is a name to watch regarding head-coaching vacancies. La Canfora says sources have compared Autin’s rise to that of Mike Tomlin, who went from an unknown position coach to leading the Steelers in rapid time. Austin is expected to garner several interviews, including one with the Falcons.
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