After just one year as the general manager of the Houston Texans, Brian Gaine is out.
The Texans announced in a statement Friday that Gaine has been fired. No specific reason was cited.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 7, 2019
The move comes as a huge shocker. Gaine served only a year as the Texans’ GM, and Houston went 11-5 with an AFC South title. It’s tough to figure out what Gaine might have done wrong in that time.
Much of the Texans’ offseason has been hung up on Jadeveon Clowney’s contract status, with Houston going as far as to gauge trade interest in him. It looks like a new GM will be picking up those negotiations.
The Houston Texans took a big hit to their secondary on Monday, but they may have a more than sufficient backup plan.
According to Houston Chronicle reporter Aaron Wilson, the Texans are strongly considering signing Earl Thomas.
Hearing Texans are exploring the Earl Thomas option strongly after departure of Tyrann Mathieu to Kansas City Chiefs on three-year, $42 million deal. Thomas will be extremely expensive, too
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 12, 2019
Draft Analyst Tony Pauline shared a similar report.
Belief in league circles is the Houston Texans will make a big push for Earl Thomas after losing Tyrann Mathieu
— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) March 12, 2019
Thomas turns 30 in May and is coming off a leg injury that ended his season early last year. Prior to his injury, he was playing great ball for the Seahawks.
- Houston Texans
The Houston Texans have unsurprisingly taken steps to keep Jadeveon Clowney.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Texans have placed the franchise tag on their star pass rusher. ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds that it is a non-exclusive tag, and the two sides continue to try to work toward a long-term deal.
The #Texans have placed the franchise tag on Jadeveon Clowney, source said.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 4, 2019
This is non-exclusive franchise tag for Jadeveon Clowney with the goal still being to reach long-term deal, per source. https://t.co/DikdFpZl0Y
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 4, 2019
This doesn’t come as a huge shock, as negotiating a long-term deal with Clowney ahead of the tag deadline was always going to be a heavy lift. It was reported last year that progress had been made on a “mega-extension,” but it was never finalized, and it looks like the two sides will be trying again this year.
The Houston Texans were clearly fans of what Tyrann Mathieu brought to their team, and they’re hoping to bring him back for another season.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans are trying to re-sign Mathieu, who is set to become a free agent. They are, however, not close to a deal right now, and figure to face stiff competition for his services on the open market.
Texans hope to re-sign pending free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu @Mathieu_Era and are making efforts to keep team captain on the roster. Nothing imminent or close at this time, though. 1-year, $7 million deal expired Safety market figures to be highly competitive financially.
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 3, 2019
Mathieu featured in all 16 games for Houston last season, contributing 89 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. He reportedly took less money to go there last offseason, so he may be looking for a bigger deal this time around.
Demaryius Thomas was improving by the week with the Houston Texans before he suffered a torn Achilles that ended his 2018 season, and it sounds like the six games he played with the team will be his only six.
James Palmer of NFL Network reports that the Texans are expected to release Thomas on Tuesday.
The #Texans are expected to release WR Demaryius Thomas today per source. Thomas tore his left Achilles in Week 16. It’s too early for a time table, but he’s returned from the injury quickly in the past. He tore his right Achilles after his rookie season and came back in 6 months
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) February 12, 2019
As Palmer noted, Thomas has already suffered a torn Achilles during his NFL career. He had a remarkably fast recovery the first time, but the road could be tougher now given that he is 31 years old.
Thomas finished the 2018 season with 677 yards and five touchdowns. It was the second consecutive season he failed to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark after doing so the previous five years. The Texans will save $14 million against the salary cap in 2019 by moving on from Thomas.
We now know the 12 teams that will play in the NFL playoffs with a chance to win the Super Bowl. Some come in hotter than others, while every one of them has flaws to be mindful of. Much can also depend on the draw: some teams got much tougher opponents than others, and home field advantage can matter a lot this time of year.
Who has the path of least resistance to the Super Bowl? We’re ranking all 12 teams from toughest to easiest in terms of that path.
12. Philadelphia Eagles
If the Eagles want to repeat as Super Bowl champions, they’re going to have to go through the entire NFC without the benefit of a single home game. Their first game alone is incredibly difficult, as they travel to Chicago in January to take on the vaunted defense of the Bears with Nick Foles under center. Get past that game and they have to go to New Orleans to face the Saints. Those are about the two roughest road games you can get in these playoffs, and if they can escape both of them, they’ll have earned whatever comes next.
The penultimate week of the 2018 NFL regular season offered no shortage of thrills and memorable moments. That includes a dramatic game in New Orleans and massive playoff implications across the league that is setting up an even more intriguing Week 17.
For now, though, we’re still focused on this week and some of the teams and players that had big letdowns. Here are 15 big disappointments from NFL Week 16.
Pittsburgh Steelers’ ball control
If Pittsburgh does not make the playoffs this season, Stevan Ridley and JuJu Smith-Schuster will relive their final touches in New Orleans in their nightmares for an entire offseason. Ridley came first, fumbling at the New Orleans 34 and potentially costing the Steelers three points at a minimum in a game they lost by that margin. With 41 seconds left and the Steelers driving to stay alive — and nearing field goal range — Smith-Schuster lost the football, leading to a Saints recovery and the end of the game. Would the Steelers have tied or won the game? It’s entirely possible. They definitely left points on the board all because of two horribly-timed fumbles, and it probably cost them a playoff berth.