Was Brian Gaine fired because of wandering eyes?

A theory on one of the biggest moves in Texans history.

Landry Locker
June 09, 2019 - 11:01 am

© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

by Landry Locker

Speculation about the abrupt divorce between the Houston Texans and Brian Gaine has been intense since owner Cal McNair fired Gaine on Friday.

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There has been a lot of cogitation, but the reason why Gaine was fired 18 months after being hired and following an 11-5 season remains a mystery to most.

The two most popular theories thrown out have been:

  1. Gaine and head coach Bill O’Brien could no longer co-exist.
  2. McNair made a power move because he didn’t like the way Gaine was conducting business as the team’s GM.

Neither one of these theories make an ounce of sense to me.

Gaine and O’Brien made it clear they were aligned from day one. Both expressed the same philosophies, spoke highly of one another and there was no reason to believe they weren’t on the same page. I’m not buying they suddenly couldn’t co-exist after 18 months.

As far as a McNair power move, why would McNair early in his ownership make a power move after an 11-5 season? Did heads really need to roll this offseason? McNair has spoken publicly multiple times during the offseason and didn’t show any signs that he wasn’t satisfied. Also, does McNair seem like the kind of guy who is going to abruptly break up an aligned Coach-GM duo? I’m VERY intrigued by the possibility, but I’m just not buying it.

I could be wrong, but at this point all I can do is responsibly speculate, which is why I have a completely different theory as to why Gaine was abruptly fired on Friday.

The biggest news in the NFL in recent weeks has been the drama surrounding the New York Jets and their ongoing search for a new general manager. The drama reached a high point this week when Joe Douglas, who eventually accepted the job, rejected New York’s initial offer.

In fact, it wasn’t until hours after Gaine was fired when Douglas finally accepted the position.

There’s well-documented proof the Jets job has been coveted by Gaine for a long time. There are also many reasons to believe it would be a dream job for Gaine.

So let the responsible speculation begin!

Questions:

Is it possible Gaine inquired about the Jets GM opening, his dream job, and the Texans staff found out?

If you were McNair and O’Brien and bought into the conservative approach of Gaine and you had suspicion he wasn’t fully committed to the process would you feel comfortable continuing the relationship?

Before you completely dismiss the possibility of this happening allow me to lay out the evidence. Here are the reasons why Brian Gaine would inquire about the Jets GM job.

Reason No. 1: Hometown Ties

He was born grew up in New York 20 miles from the Jets stadium.

Reason No. 2: Gaine’s NFL Career Began With The Jets

Gaine was on the Jets practice squad in 1995 following a cold call to the team, which Aaron Wilson wrote about in a column after Gaine was hired by the Texans.

Here is a piece from Wilson’s column in the Houston Chronicle: So Gaine, the new Texans general manager, cold-called the New York Jets' scouting department to request a tryout. Pat Kirwan, working at the time as Jets director of player administration, recalled the conversation and his first impressions of an earnest, serious young man seeking a toehold in the NFL.”

Gaine’s NFL journey is a remarkable story, almost like one that you’d see in Hollywood, which only adds to why Gaine would be fond of the Jets franchise. Gaine landed a spot on the Jets practice squad, but the connection to the Jets didn’t end there.

Reason No. 3: Gaine’s Scouting Career Began With The Jets

After his brief playing career Gaine began his NFL front office career as a scout for the Jets, where he held the position for five years.

Reason No. 4: Gaine has interviewed for the Jets GM job in the past, TWICE!

Gaine interviewed for the Jets GM position twice, the two most recent times it was open.

Not only did Gaine not get the Jets GM job the last time it was open, but NFL Insider Albert Breer emphasized how bad Gaine wanted the job.

Reason No. 5: Not Only Do The Jets Have A Special Place In Gaine’s Heart, But The Feeling Is Mutual

I’ve already covered the reasons why the Jets mean a lot to Gaine, but Gaine also has support from some of the prominent Jets alumni.

Here is a Tweet of support from former Jets receiver and Ring Of Honor member Wayne Chrebet when Gaine interviewed for the GM position six-years-ago.

The ties between Gaine and the Jets are so deep that following Gaine’s firing while the Jets GM position was still vacant NJ.com speculated Gaine would be a good candidate for the GM position.

Hours later Douglas accepted the position, but the point is even people in New York considered Gaine and the Jets a good match.

NFL Hall-Of-Famer John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, who will join the show Tuesday, said the following in the Houston Chronicle: “People familiar with what transpired say McNair did not like the direction the organization was going under Gaine and the general manager’s relationship with coach Bill O’Brien had eroded. Rather than allow his concerns about Gaine to extend into next season, McNair elected to make the decision Friday, the week before the team’s final offseason minicamp.”

We may never know what actually happened, but this theory makes too much sense to me. In fact, if this truly happened it would bring all the previously mentioned theories together.

Think about it… If McNair and O’Brien found out Gaine wasn’t fully committed and had wandering eyes then maybe Gaine and O’Brien truly could no longer co-exist and maybe McNair then stepped in and made the power move. It makes too much sense.

Maybe we will get some clarity on Tuesday when O’Brien meets with the media, but until then this is my theory and I’m sticking to it.

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