Former Texans general manager Brian Gaine‘s firing shouldn’t be attributed to his inability to sign Jadeveon Clowney, writes Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. We heard last week that the former executive had made “zero” progress on an extension for the former number-one pick, and a lack of development may have played a role in his firing.
However, Breer said there wasn’t any organizational disagreement over the handling of Clowney. The team was interested in signing the linebacker on their terms, and they were content opting for the franchise tag. For what it’s worth, we learned earlier today that Clowney is not expected to attend the team’s mandatory minicamp. The three-time Pro Bowler has yet to sign the franchise tender as he continues to push for a multiyear pact.
So what was the main reason for Gaine’s firing? Breer points to a lack of “fit” and “alignment,” as the former general manager didn’t share the same vision as head coach Bill O’Brien. Furthermore, the reporter believes the team’s current pursuit of Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio also played a role in the decision.
Let’s check out some more notes out of Houston, all via Breer…
- Speaking of Caserio, his relationship with O’Brien and executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby could play a role in him leaving New England. There’s been a perception that Caserio wouldn’t leave the Patriots, but the reporter points out that the executive had been closing to leaving before (he considered taking the Dolphins’ gig in 2014). Breer wonders if the Texans could also look to Patriots college scouting director Monti Ossenfort or former Patriots executive (and current Falcons assistant GM) Scott Pioli for the role.
- There also wasn’t an organizational disagreement over the handling of Tyrann Mathieu. The team recognized that the Pro Bowl safety had lofty monetary demands, and they never intended to go as far as the three-year, $42MM deal he received from the Chiefs this offseason. Meanwhile, the coaching staff has been happy with Gaine’s replacement for Mathieu, Tashaun Gipson.
- Following Gaine’s signing of a five-year extension in 2018, the majority of his moves have actually been lauded by the front office and coaching staff. Breer points to the one-year deal for Mathieu, and he also notes the general manager’s ability to add productive rookies (receiver Keke Coutee and safety Justin Reid) in the 2018 draft despite not having a first- or second-rounder. While his inability to add a competent offensive line in front of Deshaun Watson certainly played a role in his firing, Breer opines that the forced trade of Duane Brown wasn’t the GM’s decision.
- The Texans coaching staff has been happy with second-round offensive tackle Max Scharping and third-round tight end Kahale Warring. They’re also a “big fan” of first-rounder Tytus Howard. However, many pundits believe the Howard selection was a bit of a reach, and Breer wonders if O’Brien and Easterby’s Patriots’ philosophy clashed with Gaine’s eventual decision (as the two would have preferred trading back).
Another team has completed its rookie contracts. Third-round tight end Kahale Warring represented the final piece of that puzzle for the Texans.
Warring joins the other six Houston 2019 draftees, four of which coming from non-power-conference schools, at Texans OTAs. The Texans are set to convene for minicamp next week, when they will see three tight ends drafted in the past two years in action.
The 6-foot-5 target joins a thin Texans tight end corps, which also houses veteran Darren Fells and 2018 third- and sixth-round picks — Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas. The latter caught four touchdown passes as a rookie. Warring hails from San Diego State, where he played three seasons. He caught 51 passes for 637 yards and eight touchdowns with the Aztecs, almost all of his relevant work coming over the past two seasons.
Here is the Texans’ 2019 draft class:
- 1-23: Tytus Howard, T (Alabama State): Signed
- 2-54: Lonnie Johnson, CB (Kentucky): Signed
- 2-55: Max Scharping, T (Northern Illinois): Signed
- 3-86: Kahale Warring, TE (San Diego State): Signed
- 5-161: Charles Omenihu, DE (Texas): Signed
- 6-195: Xavier Crawford, CB (Central Michigan): Signed
- 7-220: Cullen Gillaspia, RB (Texas A&M): Signed