Brian Gaine will return to the Houston Texans less than nine months after agreeing to join the Buffalo Bills' front office, but his return will represent his first chance to become an National Football League general manager.
Smith has taken an extended leave of absence to be with his wife, who has breast cancer. Gaine is familiar with the Texans, having spent three years in the organization from 2014-16.
The Texans had seven possible candidates on their original list: Gaine, Raye, Gutekunst, Philadelphia vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas, New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Patriots' director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort and Dallas vice president of player personnel Will McClay.
The Texans are also expected to extend the contract of head coach Bill O'Brien, meaning Gaine will not be picking his own coach to start. It was the program's last state title until the Ironmen's run of dominance began in the early 2000s under coach Greg Toal.
The Texans were a woeful 4-12 last season, but they ended the season on a six-game losing streak after rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his ACL.
It is not known when the deal with Gaine will be made official by the Texans, but speculation is it will be before the Senior Bowl which the Texans are helping coach in two weeks. The Browns will select fourth overall in place of the Texans.
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