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‘My heart is open now’: Former Texans GM Rick Smith’s grief has reshaped his life
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‘My heart is open now’: Former Texans GM Rick Smith’s grief has reshaped his life
[img=670x0]https://cdn.theathletic.com/app/uploads/2020/02/11110008/78CAC9AA-3FF5-4397-862A-2740424352DE_1_105_c-e1581436941985.jpeg[/img]
By Dan Pompei Feb 12, 2020[img=16x0]https://theathletic.com/app/themes/athletic/assets/img/comment-icon.png[/img] 56
The entry for Jan. 31, 2019 in Rick Smith’s journal begins:

My wife took her last breath at 10:11 a.m. She is free.

Tiffany Smith, 49, was pronounced dead about two hours later. She had been unconscious for a couple of days. Her husband had been sitting by her side, waiting, praying, doing what he could to bring her comfort.

A little more than a year earlier, Rick was the executive vice president and general manager of the Houston Texans. He was a man who seemed to have it all, including a vibrant wife and three beautiful children, Rob, now 16, Avery, 12, and Christian, 8.

After becoming the youngest general manager in the NFL in 2006 at age 36, Rick drafted stars like Duane Brown, J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Jadeveon Clowney and Deshaun Watson. He was widely respected in league circles even though his teams had mixed results. Rick’s Texans had made four playoff appearances but never advanced past the divisional round.

By 2017, Rick and...


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