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01 January 2018, 03:11 | Percy Christensen
The Texans were a must-see with Deshaun Watson as their quarterback
The news came after the Texans completed a 4-12 campaign in Smith's 12th season as general manager.
Texans general manager Rick Smith is taking a leave of absence to tend to his wife, Tiffany, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
In the statement, Smith said that it was hard decision and that he is grateful for the support of Texans owner Bob McNair and his family, via Amy Palcic from the team's PR staff. Smith was given a four-year contract extension in July 2016.
Smith's decision to step away comes amid reports of discord with head coach Bill O'Brien. 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.
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The McNairs will begin an immediate search to replace Smith, who moved up in last year's draft to select quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Another source speculated that Smith and O'Brien could keep working together but that it would be an "uneasy alliance" that's somewhat untenable.
Smith's priorities are understandably and appropriately elsewhere with his wife undergoing treatment, so handing personnel control to someone else may be a sound decision for all involved with the Texans. But later picks haven't panned out as well and his free-agent signings have been mixed.
The Texans were apparently deliberating whether or not to fire O'Brien at the end of this season, but that doesn't appear to be the case any longer.
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