In their efforts to fill their GM vacancy, the Texans asked to interview top Patriots executives Nick Caserio (director of player personnel) and Monti Ossenfort (director of college scouting). However, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports, New England denied that request.
But, Schefter goes on to say that the Patriots’ refusal does not necessarily bring the matter to a close. The ESPN scribe writes that Caserio and Ossenfort still might be able to interview for the Texans job after the Patriots’ season ends, thanks to the league’s newly-relaxed rules that govern hiring executives from other clubs. In past years, teams could block their executives from interviewing elsewhere by saying that the individual had final say on the 53-man roster. Now, the league’s anti-tampering policy provides that final authority regarding the composition of the 53-man roster will not prevent someone from accepting a position with another team.
Interestingly, the Patriots did permit Caserio to interview with the 49ers for their GM job last offseason, and as Ben Volin of the Boston Globe observes (Twitter link), they allowed him to interview with the division-rival Dolphins two seasons ago, so their refusal represents a notable change in procedure. But given that New England is about to lose defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to head coaching positions with other teams, perhaps the Pats are simply trying to maintain some degree of continuity.
If Houston is willing to wait, they could still get a crack at Caserio and Ossenfort. In the meantime, the Texans are looking at Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst and Bills vice president of player personnel Brian Gaine.
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