GM Notes: Texans, Saleh, Peters, Smith

The next several weeks will bring extensive news on the GM front, with four teams having fired their top front office executives this season. Other teams may create additional vacancies, and Washington remains in the mix to add a top decision-maker to its front office. Here is the latest from the GM circuit ahead of what will be an unusually busy marketplace:

  • Despite Texans owner Cal McNair declaring executive VP Jack Easterby will not rise to a GM role, the current Texans power broker is expected to have plenty of input as to which exec the franchise hires to replace Bill O’Brien, Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com note. Easterby has emerged as a key voice for a Texans franchise in transition, outlasting O’Brien in the Houston front office despite the lack of a personnel-related background.
  • Houston, however, remains high on New England exec Nick Caserio, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. Should the Texans circle back to Easterby’s former Patriots coworker, it would continue an off-and-on two-year saga. The team tried to hire Caserio in 2019, but a unique clause in his Pats contract prevented a move. The long-coveted GM prospect is now on a new Patriots contract. However, the Giants — who also have a high-profile ex-Caserio coworker in power (Joe Judge) — have interest as well, should they fire Dave Gettleman.
  • Robert Saleh figures to receive consideration to be a head coach again, and early buzz has emerged he is interested in pairing with a familiar face if he lands a job. The 49ers defensive coordinator is interested in bringing the team’s vice president of player personnel — Adam Peters — with him to his next destination, according to Fowler and Graziano. The 49ers hired Peters in 2017, the same year they brought in Saleh, and he has helped the franchise rebuild from one of its lowest points.
  • Rick Smith is set to interview for the Falcons’ GM role, but La Canfora adds that the ex-Texans GM is expected to meet with at least one other GM-needy team. The Jaguars and Lions are the current teams in need — discounting what would seemingly be an untenable Texans reunion — though Smith was connected to Washington last year. Washington did not hire a GM but may look to do so in 2021. Smith served as Houston’s GM from 2006-17.
  • George Paton has been on the GM radar for years — most notably this year, when the Vikings assistant GM backed out of consideration for the Browns job — but has remained in Minnesota. If Paton is to leave a job he is clearly quite fond of, La Canfora notes it may have to be for a West Coast franchise. A UCLA alum, Paton was in contention for a 49ers GM job that went (out of nowhere) to John Lynch in 2017. That said, JLC speculates the Bears could be interested. It is not certain they will fire Ryan Pace, but this has certainly not been a good year for the exec that traded up for Mitchell Trubisky.
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6 comments on “GM Notes: Texans, Saleh, Peters, Smith

  1. JJB0811

    I read somewhere today that this Jack Easterby guy was stalking Texan’s players! Or having them followed.

    • jorge78

      That was the other guy in the front office highlighted in the latest Sports Illustrated cover story who used to be the team chaplain for the Patriots. Can’t remember his name. Very devastating story…..

  2. Michael Chaney

    With as selective as Paton has been, I can’t see him taking the Bears job. Their fans and history are great, but there’s not much else appealing about that job. It’s basically the Texans’ job, but at least Houston has a franchise quarterback.

  3. Ak185

    Looks like Saleh is the favorite for the Detroit job, doesn’t it? Detroit has leaked that their next HC may get to pick the GM, and Saleh has leaked that he’d like to bring a personnel guy with him to his next job. Hard to do that with with a sitting GM, and Peters certainly wouldn’t leave without a promotion.

  4. Mibow

    The Falcons would be making a grave mistake and will set Arthur Blank back 4 years if he was to hire Rick Smith as his GM.. while at Houston Smith was never able to put together a winning team. Very poor choice.

    Houston needs to hire the HeadCoach and allow the HC to pair with a GM. The Saleh -Dodds-Peters combination is sure to bring a winner.

    • Ak185

      I disagree. Smith had some very good draft choices and built an above average roster for most of years in Houston. He and O’Brien reportedly had some issues early in O’Brien’s tenure if I recall correctly, before Smith ended up leaving. I don’t think Smith is an all time great GM or anything, but I recall an overall decent performance in Houston. He is also proven as a GM, and if Atlanta is headed towards the big rebuild that we expect, someone with experience will be necessary at either head coach or GM to help keep things steady while the team stabilizes.

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