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Texans announce departure of Jack Easterby

Mike Florio and Peter King discuss the latest allegation against Deshaun Watson, as the Browns QB faces his 26th lawsuit while serving an 11-game suspension.

Yes, Jack Easterby is out in Houston.

On Monday afternoon, owner Cal McNair announced that Easterby and the team have ended their relationship.

“I met with Executive Vice President of Football Operations Jack Easterby and we have mutually agreed to part ways,” McNair said in a statement. “For the remainder of the season, effective immediately, his responsibilities will be absorbed by our Football Operations staff. We acknowledge Jack’s positive contributions and wish him and his family the best in the future.”

The delegation of his responsibilities to the football operations staff for the balance of the season raises the question of whether changes will be made after the season ends. John McClain has reported that G.M. Nick Caserio is safe, but Caserio’s prospects necessarily could change if/when McNair hires a new top football executive who would have authority over Caserio and the rest of the football staff.

It’s unclear why Easterby is out, especially now. His lack of objective qualifications for the job he held had been known for a long time, and it never seemed to trouble McNair. Some have wondered whether the Deshaun Watson situation has prompted the change.

The Texans ultimately settled 30 claims associated with Watson’s activities, with the team’s potential liability flowing from allegations that the team knew or should have known about Watson’s alleged misconduct and took not steps to stop him, failed to warn his allegedly victims, and/or actively facilitated his efforts by, among other things, giving him a non-disclosure agreement to utilize.

What Easterby knew and when Easterby knew it would become directly relevant to whether and what extent McNair would hold Easterby accountable for the situation with his job. And even if Easterby didn’t know what was going on, he was ultimately in charge of the team’s football operations as these things were happening. If the buck stops with anyone below ownership, it stops with him.

Whether his career as an employee of an NFL team continues remains to be seen. Multiple sources have suggested that he’ll land with the Panthers. He previously worked for the Chiefs and Patriots before joining the Texans.