Texans coach Bill O’Brien wanted and tried to cut quarterback Ryan Mallett after he missed the team’s flight last week, according to sources who spoke with Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. However, he was overruled by GM Rick Smith, and Mallett remained on the roster for Sunday’s blowout loss to the Dolphins.
The Texans now find themselves with a power conflict at the top of the organization. O’Brien’s fiery approach helped Houston turn things around in 2014 and the coach is supposed to have a good deal of control over personnel moves. However, it appears that Texans owner Bob McNair is allowing him GM of ten years to have final say. While the decision to keep Mallett on the roster wasn’t responsible for the Texans’ embarrassing loss to the Dolphins, the Houston Chronicle scribe opines that it undermined everything that O’Brien has stood for since taking over as coach.
Mallett, who also missed a training camp practice this year, claims that he missed the flight because his cell phone died and his alarm didn’t go off. The QB is due $2.5MM in 2016, the second year of his two-year contract. If the Texans do part ways with Mallett this season, they’ll have to sort out who will be their backup to Brian Hoyer. Former Rutgers/Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage would be the fill-in, but he was placed on season-ending IR in September.
On Monday, O’Brien said that the Texans were “talking about [their] options” with Mallett, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle writes.