After Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith led the Texans to their first playoff berth in franchise history, it was contract extension time.
Smith, the General Manager, signed through 2016. Kubiak, the head coach, opted to accept a deal through 2014 only.
Owner Bob McNair wanted to sign Kubiak through 2015, but Kubiak’s agent (i.e., Kubiak) opted for only three total years of security.
“[I]t’s three years and that was his choice,” McNair said of Kubiak in June 2012. ”It could have been four years but Gary has assured me that with the level of success he’s going to have that he’s going to be worth a lot more money if at three years instead of four and so I had to agree with him.”
That’s not how it worked out, with Kubiak gone and owed only one year of a buyout. It doesn’t mean he’d still be the coach if he opted for the longer deal, but the size of the buyout could have been a bigger impediment to making a change.
For Smith, three years of a buyout could keep him around, at least for another year or two. His presence could affect the potential interest of candidates who would want either to run the show from a personnel standpoint or to hire their own guy to set the table.