Texans G.M. Rick Smith takes leave of absence to care for ailing wife

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Amid talk that Texans General Manager Rick Smith could be on the way out for football reasons, he is instead reportedly taking a leave of absence for personal reasons.

Smith is taking a leave of absence to be with his wife while she battles breast cancer, he announced.

“Effective immediately, I have chosen to take an extended leave of absence to focus my attention and intention on my wife’s complete recovery from her recent diagnosis of breast cancer,” Smith said in a statement. “I remain committed to our quest to bring a championship to the city of Houston yet my family needs me now and they are my priority.”

Texans coach Bill O’Brien has reportedly battled with Smith over the team’s future, and it’s unclear whether O’Brien will take over more personnel responsibilities while Smith is absent.

The Texans lost today to finish the season 4-12. The draft, however, will not be as eventful for the Texans as it usually is for a bad team, because the Texans traded both their first-round pick and their second-round pick to the Browns. Still, they need someone to take control of the personnel department, and to start the offseason that “someone” will not be Rick Smith.