Texans Fire Longtime Executive Chris Olsen

Olsen's primary role was negotiating player contracts and managing the cap

Brandon Scott
January 20, 2020 - 9:16 am

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- Longtime Texans executive Chris Olsen was fired over the weekend as part of several shakeups within the organization since losing to Kansas City in the AFC Divisional Game.

Olsen had been with the Texans for 13 seasons, spending time as the senior vice president of football administration. His primary role was negotiating player contracts and managing the Texans' salary cap.

The Texans let go of Olsen as contract negotiations loom for star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is entering the last season of his rookie deal, and left tackle Laremy Tunsil.

The Texans have roughly $60 million in salary-cap space available, but that could change with contract restructures and roster cuts. 

Watson is projected to make about $38 million a year on a deal worth about $190 million over five years, according to TexansCap.  

"Deshaun Watson has gotten better every day, every year, every minute that he's here," Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said last Monday. "We're better because of Deshaun Watson. Deshaun Watson works very hard. He's a student of the game, he loves the game, he's the ultimate competitor. He just does a great job, and so because of his work ethic, because of the type of person that he is, he will continue to get better. There's no substitute for experience. With all the experiences that he's had early in his career here, plus his work ethic, plus his talent, all those different things, plus who he is as a man, he's going to just keep getting better."

Tunsil, for whom the Texans traded a first- and second-round pick to Miami shortly before the 2019 season, is expected to become the highest paid offensive lineman in the league this season.

That would mean topping Eagles' offensive tackle Lane Johnson's $72 million deal worth more than $55.8 million guaranteed.

"Look, we want Laremy here. Laremy knows that," O'Brien said. "I think, relative to contracts and all those different things, it really wouldn't be fair for me to comment on any of those things just because I don't think that's fair to the player or the organization. I just think we got to keep those things in-house, but I can unequivocally state to you that we want Laremy here for a long time."

The Texans are not expecting to hire a general manager, instead allowing O'Brien and Jack Easterby to lead roster-building efforts, according to SportsRadio 610 insider John McClain.

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