Texans GM Rick Smith taking leave of absence

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The Houston Texans and general manager Rick Smith seemed to put all of their eggs in the Brock Osweiler basket two offseasons ago, which put the future of O'Brien in limbo because he's been expected to make the playoffs and win games there.

Smith made the announcement Sunday after spending time away from the team. "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". There's some uncertainty as it relates to head coach Bill O'Brien and general manager Rick Smith.

All of the focus surrounding the Houston Texans to close out the 2017 season has been on the field.

We all wish Smith and his wife strength and positive vibes as they deal with her cancer and hope it all ends positively. It is unlikely the team would allow him to coach next season without signing him to a contract extension in the offseason. He signed a four-year extension through the 2020 National Football League draft with the Texans last year.

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"That's out of my control, but I would love to have Coach O'Brien with me", Watson said earlier this month. The news comes just after the Texans completed a 4-12 season.

Smith released a statement on Sunday after the Texans' 22-13 Week 17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

O'Brien, 31-33 in Houston, is entering the final year of his contract in 2018.