Nick Caserio interviewed for the Panthers and Texans GM jobs Tuesday, but he traveled to Houston for the Texans meeting. And the longtime Patriots executive will finally make the jump to a GM role.
The Texans are expected to hire Caserio as their next general manager, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The organization has decided and is hiring the veteran personnel man, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.
Caserio, of course, has an extensive history with the Texans. The team wanted to hire him in 2019, but his unusual Patriots contract prohibited such a move. However, he resurfaced on the Texans’ radar after Bill O’Brien‘s early-season firing. Caserio worked with current Texans executive VP Jack Easterby in New England and remains close with the former Patriots staffer. Easterby is believed to hold plenty of sway as to which direction the Texans go with this hire.
The Texans also interviewed the Steelers’ Omar Khan, Seahawks’ Trent Kirchner and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick for this job. They also met with in-house staffer Matt Bazirgan and were scheduled to meet with Bills staffer Malik Boyd and Ravens exec Scott Cohen. Korn Ferry, the firm the Texans used to spearhead their search, recommended Bazirgan, Cohen, Khan, Kirchner and Riddick but did not place Caserio on its finalist list, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Interestingly, Cal McNair told candidates they would be allowed to determine Easterby’s role, Garafolo adds (Twitter link). Given Easterby and Caserio’s past, it can be assumed Easterby will remain a key Texans figure.
Now 45, Caserio has been with the Patriots for 20 years. After Scott Pioli went to Kansas City in 2009, Caserio rose into a key role as Bill Belichick‘s right-hand man. He has been with the team for each of its six Super Bowl titles. The Patriots and Caserio reached another extension agreement in February 2020. Caserio’s departure will leave Dave Ziegler as Belichick’s top lieutenant, though the Broncos — who gave Ziegler his NFL start — have requested a GM interview. The Pats lost Monti Ossenfort to the Titans last year.
The two-decade New Englander will walk into an interesting situation. O’Brien’s brief GM tenure involved a few splashy and criticized trades, and one of them — the Laremy Tunsil deal — leaves the Texans without their first- or second-round picks. Miami holds Houston’s No. 3 overall choice. Revitalizing a roster that houses a franchise quarterback (Deshaun Watson) in need of a considerable supporting cast bump would be quite an accomplishment. But the Texans hiring an exec they have pursued for years represents a big step as well.