Nick Caserio is only in his second month as the Houston Texans’ new general manager, but his tenure has already been a busy one — from hiring a new head coach, to seeing the organization part ways with multiple long-standing employees, to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson. Along the way, Caserio has also made some personnel moves related to the state of Houston’s roster.
Seven practice squad contracts were allowed to expire, three players were activated from the Reserve/Covid-19 list, and one player pact was terminated. Recently, he has also started to explore the free agency market to bolster the team’s depth.
This journey has led to him exploring his roots: the first two outside additions made by Caserio as the Texans’ GM are both former members of the New England Patriots. After offensive tackle Jordan Steckler was signed to a futures contract last week, Houston also brought in tight end Paul Quessenberry as a free agency signing on Wednesday.
Steckler first arrived in New England midway through the 2020 regular season. The team, which then still employed Caserio as its director of player personnel, was signed to the practice squad and spent the remainder of the year there. However, he was not offered a futures pact following the season and eventually entered free agency on January 11. Not even a month later, he has found a new home in Houston.
Quessenberry joined the Patriots as a de facto rookie free agent during training camp. A graduate of the Naval Academy, who spent the previous five years away from football to pursue a career in the armed forces, he logged three separate stints on New England’s practice squad over the course of the 2020 campaign. He was finally let go in late December but now added to the Texans’ roster.
The two become the latest ex-Patriots to arrive in Houston. Wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Chad Hansen, guard Hjalte Froholdt, and defensive backs Keion Crossen and A.J. Moore all spent time in New England before joining the Texans.
The team bringing former Patriots aboard is therefore nothing new, and par the course for clubs led by executives who came over from New England. The Tennessee Titans and, until last year, Detroit Lions are other examples for that. The Texans were in the same boat since hiring Bill O’Brien as head coach back in 2014, and continue to be even with him gone.