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Texans Rumors: HC Lovie Smith, GM Nick Caserio Could Both Be Fired After Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 8, 2023

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 02: Houston Texans general manager Nic Ceserio before the Houston Texans play the Los Angeles Chargers at NRG Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Texans could clean house this offseason.

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported Sunday that "one or both" of Texans head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Nick Caserio could be out of a job.

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How many coaching changes will we see this offseason?<a href="https://twitter.com/JayGlazer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JayGlazer</a> tells us what we can expect ⬇️ <a href="https://t.co/mK5Zx1aBQ5">pic.twitter.com/mK5Zx1aBQ5</a>

Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported Saturday that Houston was undecided on Smith's status for 2023 and that he "has been meeting with owner Cal McNair to state his case for a second season."

A coaching change wouldn't be all that surprising.

Smith boasts plenty of experience but doesn't necessarily fit the profile of somebody to steer a rebuild. He compiled an 89-87 record across 11 years with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Illinois fired him in December after it went 17-39 and made one bowl game across his five seasons in charge.

And the report by Rapoport and Pelissero laid out some issues that already arose in Houston:

"Sources say frustration has mounted in the locker room and elsewhere in the building over many aspects of Smith's program, including overall operational struggles. It has spilled to their best players, such as receiver Brandin Cooks being stripped of the captaincy after trying and failing to get himself traded before November's deadline."

Caserio's ouster would come as more of a shock since this is shaping up to be the first offseason in which he enjoys full authority over football-related decisions. The firing of executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby allowed him to take center stage.

What happens this spring could shape Houston's outlook for years to come.

The franchise is on track to have $47.7 million in salary-cap space, per Spotrac, so it has the cash to make a few immediate upgrades to the roster. More importantly, Caserio or whoever is running the front office can identify a true long-term quarterback successor to Deshaun Watson.

The Texans own the NFL's worst record (2-13-1), putting them in pole position to land Ohio State's C.J. Stroud or Alabama's Bryce Young in the 2023 NFL draft. They could choose instead to relive the 2006 draft, when they elected against taking hometown favorite Vince Young and opted for the top pass-rusher on the board in Mario Williams.

The three best players on Bleacher Report's 2023 big board (Alabama's Will Anderson Jr., Georgia's Jalen Carter and Clemson's Myles Murphy) all play along the defensive front seven.

If team owner Cal McNair has any reservations about Caserio, he shouldn't maintain the status quo for the sake of maintaining the status quo. There's too much on the line for him to stick with a GM whom he doesn't fully trust.