The New England Patriots reportedly filed tampering charges against the Texans in Houston’s pursuit to make Nick Caserio its next general manager.

If evidence shows the Texans did tamper with Caserio, then the Patriots likely would receive compensation from Houston. There is another way for the Patriots to get something in return for Caserio if he leaves his post as New England’s director of player personnel to join Houston, however.

The Patriots and Texans could work out a trade for Caserio’s services. This idea first was broached by ProFootballTalk. In fact, a “source with knowledge of the dynamics and personalities involved in this fight” told PFT he believes a trade ultimately will be consummated.

That deal likely would be struck between Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby. O’Brien is a former Patriots offensive coordinator, while Easterby left New England to join the Texans this offseason. The parties know each other well.

Our thoughts: If the Patriots and Texans were going to work out a deal for Caserio, then why were the tampering charges filed in the first place? That only causes an obstruction to getting a deal done.

Also, compensation is great and all, but Caserio has more value to the Patriots than any draft pick could. The tampering charges feel like a way to block Caserio from going to Houston more than a path to a trade.

We also believe Caserio would have turned down the general manager job offer earlier this week if he wasn’t at least interested. And if he’ll have more responsibility — and compensation — in Houston than he does in New England, then it’s easy to see why he would consider leaving.

The timing of all of this perhaps is what’s most interesting. The NFL and its teams basically are ready to go on vacation for the next five weeks until training camp opens. The Texans probably were hoping to get their hiring done quickly, neatly and tidily. That’s unlikely at this point.

Anything is possible, but the odds say this will work out in the Patriots’ favor. There essentially are four possibilities: 1. The Patriots keep Caserio. 2. The Patriots receive compensation if the NFL finds the Texans tampered. 3. The Patriots receive compensation after working out a trade with the Texans. 4. The Patriots lose Caserio for nothing.

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