Garrick Jones, a former Houston Texans player, is petitioning to become the general manager of the team, in hopes of replacing Bill O’Brien.

The former athlete, nicknamed “The Commissioner,” played five seasons in the National Football League, as well as five seasons in the Canadian Football League and says he knows what it takes to succeed. He also feels he knows how to best serve the die-hard Texans fans filling the stands, as well as the players laying it all on the lines on the field.

“I once played for the team. I had the opportunity to be on the ground floor of the deal, joining in 2003 after the inaugural season. And in my post-career, I actually co-founded and started my own league, in which I focused on all of the things I did not see in the NFL.”

Because of those reasons, and a few more, he decided to enlist the help of the community, starting an online petition on, which has collected thousands of signatures.

Garrick “The Commissioner” Jones

So, what makes him qualified?

Jones said throughout his career, he’s been a part of both good and bad organizations. Like everything in life, it starts at the top.  He added that the recent situation regarding the trade of beloved Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins reminded him of what’s missing in the league.

“A lot of times with organizations or coaches, there is a mentality of ‘my way or the highway,'” he shared. “When you are in an authoritative position ruling with an iron fist, nobody is exempt, and anyone can be replaced or traded. There is no job security unless you are a big-time player and even then, you can be traded away just like Hopkins was.”

Jones stressed that a drastic change is needed.

“There must be a level of respect. We are all adults and I think the lack of communication leads to trades, contract hold outs, salary cap disagreements and losing athletes,” Jones said. “I believe if I draft an athlete, I want that athlete to retire with the organization in some way, shape, form or fashion.”

Jones said there has been a breakdown over the years at the upper-management level, which directly affects the overall morale of the players.

“When you lose key figures on your team, you lose the locker room,” Jones said. “The city is in a bad state, the team is in a bad state and I think that the organization definitely needs to go in another direction.”

Jones says his resume is on par with anyone who would be looked at for the position and has a clear and concise plan to help reshape the organization. He co-founded the State Developmental Football League (SDFL), which has had as many as 20 teams under its umbrella. His league focused not only on winning the game, but thriving when you retire your cleats. SDFL focused on teaching financial literacy, business, learning how to build generational wealth and other life-sustaining skills.

“We have given our athletes the opportunity to be a part of businesses which allows them to get residual incomes. We want to make sure that when players are done, they have no problems providing for their families,” he said.

Bayou Beat News asked Jones some “elephant in the room” questions about the Texans we feel fans would want to know.

Q: How successful has the online campaign been?

A: I’m in front of 100K signatures with all of the combined petitions that are out there now against O’Brien. I have aligned my movement with about 35 different petitions, including one calling to Boycott the Texans until Bill O’ Brien is fire

Q: Personal thoughts about O’Brien?

A: His body of work as a coach speaks volumes. He’s had a very good run, but there would have to be a lot of changes. There’s been a lot of complacency with just making it to the playoffs, we need to make sure that everybody in the building is on the same page. If you are not adding to the equation and subtracting from it, then some more people will have to come in while others must go. I’m essentially looking to give the fans a voice in the matter.

Q: Why has the team never made it to the Super Bowl?

A: It’s culture, chemistry and the respect factor. There are so many different variables that go into team sports. Everyone from the president to the groundskeeper has to have one goal and work as one. You have to be a leader who is willing to listen and not be the smartest person in the room.

Q: Who do you feel is one of the best players on the team?

A: Deshaun Watson is in a position where he can put an entire team on his back and be able to carry them, but he definitely has to have the right weapons around him so he can be comfortable and confident in his teammates. He is a leader.

Q: Who is the most underrated person on the team?

A: Brennan Scarlett. He is a young man that goes in day in and day out and he is very athletic and is going to show up. He is a blue-collar guy and a lot of blue-collar guys don’t get any shine. They bring their lunch to work and they put their pads on. Those are the guys that I respect and that was my role. We make everybody around us better and come to win.

Q: What do you want athletes to know about financial literacy?

A: Where I come from you learn how to work for somebody else for 30 or 40 years, and that has to change. We need to teach younger athletes there is something other than picking up a ball in order to get their families out of the hood. We educate families so they can form habits with money management that can carry on for generations. Less than 1% of athletes are going to make it, but 100% will have bills, babies and problems, so we focus on helping them develop a vehicle of ownership, instead of being an employee.

Q: You’ve been around the athletic block, what made you decide to return to Houston?

A: I wanted to come back to Houston to finish what I started in the community. I had a lot of programs, nonprofits and have worked with the inner-city. I’ve also received a proclamation. October 25 is officially Garrick Jones Day. I want to have a seat at the table and help where needed.

More about Garrick Jones:

Jones is married father of three and president of the Huddle Up Foundation of Houston, a nonprofit organization created by former NFL athletes working in and around the communities they serve. He is responsible for developing and the implementation of HUFOH athlete initiatives across the country as well as overseeing the education and exposure of criminal/social justice reform and community/economic development in Houston and surrounding areas.

Jones said the highlight of his career was the signing of his first NFL contract after forgoing his senior season at Arkansas State University due to personal issues. Jones also currently sits on the Board of Directors for the NFLPA Houston Chapter and the Advisory Board for IMPACT Sports LLC, a company focused on the development of concussion reducing helmets for all athletes.