Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has spoken with numerous sources close to Texans HC Bill O’Brien and GM Rick Smith who believe a split this offseason is imminent.
According to La Canfora, while O’Brien would seem to be in line for a lucrative contract extension, it’s far from certain Houston would be willing to extend him the kind of market-value contract he would get as a free agent this offseason.
O’Brien has said that he would like to remain in Houston. However, La Canfora adds that O’Brien is also aware that he would likely be a coveted option for other teams, especially when you consider that there could end up being several head-coaching jobs available in the NFL.
There has reportedly been friction between coaching and management during O’Brien’s tenure in Houston and some sources close to the situation have told La Canfora that they’re anticipating a divorce after this season.
As for the Texans, should their head-coaching job end up being available, La Canfora expects it to be one of the most attractive positions out there, considering that they have a young franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson and some impact defensive talent to work with. La Canfora adds that it’s possible notable head coaches like Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh or David Shaw could have interest in the Texans’ job if it’s available.
One internal candidate worth keeping an eye on, according to La Canfora, is defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel.
O’Brien, 48, was hired by the Texans back in 2014 after spending a few years at Penn State. Since taking the job with Houston, O’Brien has led them to a record of 31-30 (50.8 percent) to go along with two playoff appearances.
We’ll have more regarding O’Brien and his future with the Texans as the news is available.