Two weeks ago, Texans owner Cal McNair seemed to be ready to neuter at best and ostracize at worst Jack Easterby, the team’s executive V.P. of football operations. Then Easterby made a Hail Mary play, perhaps literally, to get McNair to change his mind.
The new report from SI.com touches on a rumor that has been making the rounds since the Texans went off the Korn Ferry board and hired Nick Caserio to become the team’s new General Manager. Easterby, as the rumor goes, persuaded McNair to pray with Easterby for wisdom in deciding on the new G.M. — fully aware that the new G.M. could end up freezing out or firing Easterby.
Here’s the key passage from the SI.com report: “Easterby had made a habit of asking coworkers to take his hand and pray for wisdom when making workplace decisions. He often did so with people who reported to him; some felt they had no choice but to oblige, even if this made them uncomfortable. McNair, though, strongly identifies with Easterby’s Christian faith. The two were among the last people to leave NRG Stadium the night of the season-ending loss. And, according to multiple members of the organization, with the biggest decision for the franchise’s future looming — who would lead the team moving forward — word spread throughout the building that Easterby and McNair prayed for enlightenment.”
The article later explains that Easterby and McNair have “prayed together regularly at team headquarters, reinforcing their bond.”
Easterby, a former chaplain who wears his faith like a neon zoot suit, apparently doesn’t always behave with the same forbearance and honesty that his religious beliefs would seemingly advocate. According to the new SI.com report, Easterby “told multiple people inside the building that he had sued, or planned to sue” SI.com for defamation, and that he had been given a list of all sources for the SI.com story.
“That is untrue,” Jenny Vrentas and Greg Bishop write. “SI has not been notified of any lawsuit nor disclosed the identity of any of its sources.”
Easterby, per the new SI.com report, also claims that the Kraft family, his former employer in New England, “is behind the negative press about him,” and that Easterby “has spread a story that the Krafts are investors in SI or had directly funded SI’s reporting.” (Easterby denied making that claim.)
“That is also untrue,” Vrentas and Bishop write. “SI has no financial relationship with the Krafts or any of their business ventures, including the Patriots.”
Easterby remains nervous about his status, and rightfully so. Easterby’s unchecked and, frankly, delusional ambitions (a league source tells PFT that he openly aspires to be the General Manager of a team) has contributed to the mess in which he now finds himself.
Per the SI.com report, Easterby asked several Texans players in recent days to support him publicly, or privately to people like Deshaun Watson. The plea has come “[o]ften through tears,” and Easterby has “shared accounts of his receiving death threats and his family’s having to relocate to a hotel.”
“I have called players to see how they’re doing and check in, per normal process,” Easterby told SI.com. “I have not asked anyone to speak to Cal or Deshaun on my behalf. I ask players to tell the truth when asked.”
If Easterby wants the truth, here it is: He shouldn’t be the executive V.P. of football operations, for any NFL team. The league has many other potential candidates for that type of position with far greater credentials, qualifications, and experience than Easterby. Every day that Easterby has that job, a truly worthy candidate necessarily is denied the opportunity to grow and to flourish in a position for which he or she is far better suited than Easterby.
Easterby, in our assessment, believed he could establish a foothold in the world of football with a thin and/or embellished resume. Then, with his personality and penchant for playing the “Man of God” card, he climbed and he climbed and he climbed. And as the old saying goes, the higher someone climbs a tree, the more exposed that person’s ass becomes.