Add two New England Patriots executives to the growing list of team staffers drawing interest for job openings around the league.
The Houston Texans have hired a search firm to replace departed general manager Rick Smith, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday. According to Rapoport, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and New England director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort both are “expected to receive interest” from Houston in its search.
Buffalo Bills vice president of player personnel Brian Gaine and Green Bay Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst also are on the Texans’ short list, per Rapoport.
Smith recently announced he’s taking a leave of absence after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Caserio and Ossenfort figure to be strong candidates to replace him.
Caserio, who has found considerable success as the right-hand man to head coach/de facto general manager Bill Belichick, would be working with some familiar faces in Houston: head coach Bill O’Brien, offensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel and special teams coordinator Larry Izzo all are Patriots alums.
This isn’t the first time Caserio has drawn interest from other teams, as the San Francisco 49ers reportedly heavily pursued Caserio and New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels last offseason.
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