Update 1/5/2021: Nick Caserio interviews with Texans, Panthers about open general manager positions
After an earlier report about the Houston Texans interviewing Nick Caserio for their open general manager position, the Carolina Panthers announced on Tuesday that they too had talked with the New England Patriots’ director of player personnel. Just like Houston, Carolina had also requested an interview after the Patriots’ season ended on Sunday.
Caserio was among six candidates who talked to the Panthers over the last two days. The list also includes Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen, New Oreans Saints assistant general manager and college scouting director Jeff Ireland, Cleveland Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, former New York Giants GM Jerry Reese, and Tennessee Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort.
Ossenfort, of course, worked under Caserio in New England before leaving for Tennessee last year. Now, the two former colleagues are potentially competing for the same job.
Original story 1/5/2021: Nick Caserio visits Houston on Tuesday to interview for vacant Texans general manager job
Will third time be the charm for the Houston Texans? After failing to get an interview with Nick Caserio twice before, the Texans have now been given permission from the New England Patriots to speak to their director of player personnel about the vacant general manager position.
According to a report by the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, Caserio was in Houston on Tuesday to speak with the organization. The 45-year-old could also be “emerging as the leading candidate” for the gig.
Their current attempt to lure Caserio away from New England is not the Texans’ first, as mentioned above.
Before hiring Brian Gaine as its general manager in January 2018 the organization already asked if it could conduct an interview with Caserio. New England declined the request at the time, but the Texans came back after Gaine’s firing one year later. At that point, the Patriots filed tampering charges against the club leading to it eventually dropping its pursuit and Caserio staying in New England.
Back in 2019, the language in Caserio’s contract prohibited him from interviewing for the job. While he did sign a multi-year extension during the 2020 offseason, that stipulation is no longer part of the deal which means that Houston is now in a position to speak with the long-time Patriots executive and Bill Belichick’s right-hand man.
Caserio first arrived in New England in 2001 and has helped the team win six Super Bowls, including the last three in his current position. But while he is one of the highest-ranking people within the organization, final say over a roster — something he does not have in New England under Belichick — might convince him to leave.
That would not be the only thing the Texans have to offer. While they finished the 2020 season with a 4-12 record as one of the worst teams in football, they do have one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL: former first-round draft pick Deshaun Watson, who signed a four-year, $177.5 million contract extension in September to stay in Houston through the 2025 season.
But while the most important position on the team is filled, there are some major questions as well that might lead to Caserio deciding to stay put with the Patriots or give the other team that has expressed interest, the Carolina Panthers, a shot. The Texans, after all, are projected to be substantially over the salary cap next year — almost $19 million if it is set at $175 million for 2021 — and won’t have first- and second-round draft picks this year.
Houston has reportedly also interviewed its own director of player personnel, Matt Bazirgan, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Buffalo Bills director of pro personnel Malik Boyd and Pittsburgh Steelers vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan. The organization will furthermore speak with Baltimore Ravens director of football research Scott Cohen and Seattle Seahawks vice president of player personnel Trent Kirchner.