UPDATE (9:35 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans officially hired New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio as their next general manager Tuesday night, according to multiple reports.
ORIGINAL STORY: Nick Caserio appears to be off to Houston.
The Texans have “zeroed in” on Caserio as their next general manager after interviewing the New England Patriots executive for the role Tuesday, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.
The Texans attempted to interview Caserio after the 2018 season but dropped their request after the Patriots filed tampering charges. Caserio has a connection to Texans executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby, the former Patriots character coach. Easterby served as Houston’s interim general manager this season after head coach/GM Bill O’Brien was fired.
Caserio, 45, played a vital role in building and fostering the Patriots’ dynasty. Joining the team in 2001, he spent 20 seasons in New England, serving as the team’s director of player personnel — the No. 2 personnel man in the organization behind Bill Belichick — from 2008 through 2020.
The former John Carroll University quarterback also was the Patriots’ wide receivers coach for one season in 2007 and continues to work hands-on with players during practice and before games.
“He’s certainly involved in all of the personnel aspects of his job, college, pro, free agent workouts, waiver, everything,” Belichick said of Caserio in 2017. “But you throw all of the coaching stuff on top of that, the week-to-week role in the press box and on the practice field. I mean, he does a tremendous amount. I can’t think of any other personnel person that would even come close to that. I don’t know who it would be. I don’t know what everybody else does, but I don’t know anybody.”
The top candidate to replace Caserio will be Dave Ziegler, who was promoted from director of pro personnel to assistant director of player personnel last offseason. Ziegler also is a GM candidate, however, as the Denver Broncos reportedly requested to interview him for their vacancy.
Other potential successors include scouting consultant Elliot Wolf, college scouting coordinator Brian Smith and former Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn, who worked in the Patriots organization from 2000 through 2015.
One of Caserio’s first orders of business in Houston will be hiring a new head coach. Could Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Caserio’s former teammate at John Carroll, be a possibility? McDaniels recently said he “absolutely” wants to be a head coach again.