Matt Bazirgan

Texans Won’t Hire GM For 2019

For now, the Texans’ GM job will remain vacant, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Rather than hiring a GM for 2019, the Texans will divvy up the responsibilities among Matt Bazirgan, James Liipfert, Chris Olsen and Jack Easterby.

The Texans fired Brian Gaine earlier this summer in an attempt to quickly replace him with Patriots executive Nick Caserio. The Patriots blocked the move and accused Easterby of tampering with the under-contract employee at the Pats’ ring ceremony.

The inclusion of Easterby in the Texans’ upper management is noteworthy and a bit surprising. Easterby previously served as the Patriots’ chaplain before earning the title of Executive Vice President of Team Development in Houston. Now, it appears that he is wielding more influence than ever.

It has been widely speculated that the Texans are simply biding their time until Caserio’s contract with New England expires. Still, there’s a long way to go between now and the 2020 offseason and things can always change.

Texans Hire Jets Exec As Player Personnel Director

After firing several members of their scouting department earlier this week, the Texans are quickly assembling their new-look scouting branch.

The franchise will bring aboard Matt Bazirgan from the Jets, and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports he will serve as the Texans’ director of player personnel. The Jets granted Bazirgan permission to speak with the Texans.

Bazirgan joins former Patriots exec James Liipfert as new Texans hires, with the latter now in place as Houston’s director of college scouting. The Texans will also bring aboard former Cardinals scout John Ritcher, Wilson reports. Ritcher will become Houston’s southeast regional scout, per Wilson, after spending six years with the Cards.

Bazirgan, who looks set to assume some of former interim GM and VP of player personnel Jimmy Raye III‘s responsibilities, served as the Jets’ director of pro personnel for the past three years. Wilson adds Bazirgan has a strong reputation as a talent evaluator in NFL circles. He spent 14 years with the Jets.

AFC East Rumors: Patriots, Dolphins, Jets

If Tom Brady continues his run of success in his age-39 campaign, the Patriots will likely be forced to use the franchise tag on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in 2018, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. New England would probably deploy the tag with the intention trading Garoppolo, but dealing away the talented reserve signal-caller would depend on a number of factors, per Reiss. Aside from Brady’s excellent play and his intention to play for several more seasons, the Patriots would need to feel secure with current third-stringer Jacoby Brissett. The 23-year-old Brissett posted a record of 1-1 last season while completing 28 of 46 passes for more than 300 yards, and while he didn’t throw any touchdowns, he did score on the ground.

Let’s take a look at more from the AFC East:

  • Given that he was coming off an Achilles injury, the Dolphins attempted to limit defensive end Cameron Wake‘s snaps at the beginning of the 2016 season, but head coach Adam Gase now admits that strategy was an oversight. “I made a mistake. I should have been playing him more early,” Gase tells Adam Walker of ESPN.com. “We were trying to think long term. … We thought we were being smart and it backfired on us. What we should have done was just let him play.” Wake, 35, ended up playing on roughly half of Miami’s snaps, compiling 11.5 sacks and grading as the league’s No. 10 edge defender, according to Pro Football Focus. In February, Wake agreed to an extension that will keep him with the Dolphins through 2018.
  • Although the Patriots handed him a $100K base salary guarantee and a $15K signing bonus, Harvey Langi might have trouble earning a spot on New England’s roster given the club’s depth at linebacker, as Phil Perry of CSNNE.com details in his latest Patriots roster projection. Langi was a highly-touted undrafted free agent out of BYU, but New England’s recent addition of veteran David Harris could throw his status into flux. The Pats could attempt to pass him through waivers to the practice squad, but another team could be ready to pounce with a claim.
  • The Jets have promoted director of pro personnel Matt Bazirgan to college scouting director, sources tell Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. He replaces Rex Hogan, who left New York last month to become the Colts’ co-director of player personnel. Bazirgan had been working as Gang Green’s pro personnel director since 2015, and had worked as an area scout prior to that. A Jets staffer since 2004, Bazirgan has worked under four different New York general managers.