A brief but unusual saga saw the Houston Texans deterred in their efforts to hire New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio as their new general manager, but the story may be just beginning.
Ben Volin of the Boston Globe wrote Monday that all signs are pointing toward Caserio wanting to leave New England for the Houston job at some point, even if not now. He suggests that, while the Texans’ job would have been a lateral move at best, the Patriots had to file tampering charges to keep him from departing.
Volin notes that Caserio’s contract runs through the 2020 NFL Draft. After that, “every sign” points to Caserio refusing to re-sign and instead depart to become general manager of the Texans.
Houston dropped their pursuit of Caserio when the Patriots filed tampering charges, and have decided against hiring a general manager. That may well be because they know that if they wait it out, Caserio will be theirs next summer, and there’s nothing New England can do about it. It’s not guaranteed, but it certainly isn’t illogical.
The Houston Texans and New England Patriots seem to have settled the Nick Caserio matter in an outcome that will not be too satisfying for Houston.
The Texans are dropping their pursuit of Caserio for their GM vacancy, while the Patriots have dropped their tampering charge against Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain.
Texans withdrawing pursuit of Caserio. Pats dropping tampering charges.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) June 14, 2019
Here is the Texans’ statement on the matter:
— Texans PR (@TexansPR) June 14, 2019
The Texans surprisingly fired GM Brian Gaine last week after one year on the job. The move came the day after a former Patriots employee, Jack Easterby, attended the Patriots’ ring ceremony, where Caserio was also present. Easterby has worked for the Texans since April.
The Texans requested permission to interview Caserio, and the Patriots responded by filing a tampering charge. The tampering accusation may have been based on the belief Easterby tampering with Caserio at the ring ceremony.
Now that the charge has been dropped, the Texans can move forward with their search. They just won’t be able to hire Caserio, who has been with the Patriots since 2001.
The New England Patriots appeared to make a roster move earlier this week that would bring them some much-needed tight end depth, but the trade has been nixed.
The Detroit Lions announced on Friday that they are waiving tight end Michael Roberts after he was reverted back to their roster. The Lions and Patriots had agreed to a trade for Roberts on Thursday.
Lions announced today that TE Michael Roberts reverted back to the team’s roster, per trade conditions. Subsequently, the Lions announced that they have waived Roberts.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 14, 2019
That likely means Roberts failed his physical, so it’s unclear what the future holds for him.
Roberts, a fourth-round pick in 2017, caught just nine passes for 100 yards last year, but three of them were touchdowns. While he was not expected to replace Rob Gronkowski’s production, he’s 6-foot-5 and could have provided the Patriots with a big body in the red zone. They will need to keep looking if they want to bolster the tight end position before the start of the season.
The Houston Texans are trying to hire New England Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio to be their next general manager, and they are not going to be intimidated by their AFC rival filing tampering charges.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Texans are “digging in” with their pursuit of Caserio.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 13, 2019
“The Texans are digging in. They are not giving in — they are digging in,” Rapoport said. “They are not abandoning their pursuit of Caserio. They still want him, so expect this to be ongoing.”
Rapoport added that the issue could potentially be resolved with draft pick compensation, as it seems unlikely that Caserio would want to return to the Patriots after they filed tampering charges against a team that is trying to hire him. He adds that the Patriots still have leverage since Caserio is under contract with them, so the Texans may decide to just give up a draft pick so they can move forward.
The Texans announced last week that they have fired former GM Brian Gaines after just one season with the team. Reports immediately linked Caserio to the job, and the tampering charge may stem from something that happened at the Super Bowl ring ceremony held at Robert Kraft’s house last week.
Caserio has been with the Patriots since 2001 and has helped build the rosters of all six of New England’s championship teams. It’s no surprise they want to do everything they can to keep him, but this seems like the end of the lengthy relationship.
The New England Patriots are still looking for options to replace Rob Gronkowski in he wake of the star tight end’s retirement, and they are hoping a trade they have completed with the Detroit Lions will help.
According to numerous reports, the Lions have agreed to trade tight end Michael Roberts to the Patriots for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.
Compensation update: Lions are trading tight end Michael Roberts to the Patriots for a conditional 7th-round pick in 2020, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 13, 2019
Roberts, a fourth-round pick in 2017, caught just nine passes for 100 yards last year, but three of them were touchdowns. He’s 6-foot-5 and should provide the Patriots with a big body in the red zone, which is something they need with Gronk gone.
A new executive hired by the Houston Texans named Jack Easterby is at the center of the New England Patriots’ tampering charge against the Houston Texans.
The Patriots on Wednesday filed tampering charges against the Texans for their pursuit of Nick Caserio to fill their GM vacancy. The Texans fired Brian Gaine suddenly on Friday after just one year on the job. The surprising move came a day after Easterby, a former Patriots employee, attended the Patriots’ Super Bowl ring ceremony at the home of team owner Robert Kraft, where Caserio was also present.
NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo says the Patriots may be connecting the presence of Easterby at the ceremony to the firing of Gaine the next day, along with reports that Caserio was immediately viewed as Houston’s top target.
Jack Easterby, now a VP for the Texans, was at the Pats’ ring ceremony. The next day, Gaine was fired. That’s the connection the Pats might be making here. https://t.co/z7iUvQXdCb
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 12, 2019
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio says evidence of potential tampering could come from proof of interactions between Easterby and Caserio.
Evidence of potential tampering come from photos, videos, other proof of interactions between Texans exec @JackEasterby and Caserio at last Thursday's Patriots ring ceremony, which happened the night before the Houston G.M. job became vacant.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 12, 2019
Easterby was a former team chaplain for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2011-2012 and hired to serve as a life coach/character coach for the Patriots from 2013-2018. He left the Patriots earlier this year after feeling uneasy over Kraft’s massage parlor case, according to The Boston Globe. He ended up hired by the Texans and began working for them in April. He is serving as their executive vice president of team development, and his influence within the franchise is said to be growing.
The New England Patriots have filed tampering charges against the Houston Texans over the AFC South team’s pursuit of Nick Caserio.
Caserio serves as the Patriots’ Director of Player Personnel and is viewed as their de facto GM, with Bill Belichick retaining final say over the roster. The Texans last week announced the firing of Brian Gaines after one season on the job as their GM. Reports immediately said Caserio would be Houston’s leading target for the job.
The Texans tried to interview Caserio for their GM vacancy last year but were turned down by the Patriots. They formally requested permission to speak with him again this year but have not heard back. That is likely due to the Patriots deciding tampering charges were in order.
The Patriots filed tampering charges Wednesday against the Houston Texans for the attempted general manager hire of Nick Caserio, league sources told ESPN.
The NFL now is expected to gather relevant informant to open its investigation against Houston, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 12, 2019
The NFL’s anti-tampering policy states, “Any interference by a member club with the employer-employee relationship of another club or any attempt by a club to impermissibly induce a person to seek employment with that club or with the NFL” is impermissible.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 12, 2019
The implications of a tampering accusation means the Patriots believe that the Texans have gone behind their back to speak with Caserio about the job.
Being a general manager is considered a higher title than director of player personnel, and teams generally allow their employees to interview for jobs that would be promotions. The Patriots feel differently in this case.
In a December 2014 interview, Belichick praised Caserio.
“He contributes in a lot of different ways and I’m glad I have him. I need him,” Belichick said.
Caserio has worked in the Patriots’ organization since 2001, working in scouting and even serving as a wide receivers coach. He has spent most of his time working in personnel and has held his current role since 2008.