Monti Ossenfort

Patriots Deny Texans’ Request To Interview Nick Caserio, Monti Ossenfort

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.

Nick Caserio (vertical)

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Texans’ GM Search

The Texans’ GM search is just getting underway, but we’re already getting an idea of the names that could be in play for the job. External candidates expected to receive interest include Nick Caserio and Monti Ossenfort of the Patriots, Brian Gaine of the Bills, and Brian Gutekunst of the Packers (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). Nick Caserio (vertical)

[RELATED: Browns Ask To Talk With Texans’ Sean Ryan]

Caserio is among this year’s top candidates for a GM position. While he rejected overtures from other teams before, a prime opportunity like the one in Houston could be the one to get him to leave New England. Some have speculated that he could wind up as a package deal with Josh McDaniels as head coach, but it sounds like Bill O’Brien will be retained by the Texans.

The Texans are on the hunt for a new GM after Rick Smith announced he would be taking a leave of absence to care for his wife, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. When Smith does return to the team, he’ll retain his Executive Vice President title, but he indicated that he will not be in charge of football decisions.

In whatever role that is, I am going to maintain Executive Vice President title. If we hire a GM and have a guy to run the personnel, then we’ll do that,” Smith said. “So, again, it’s a fluid process, but I am absolutely intend on coming back, I will maintain that at least the Executive Vice President title and if Mr. McNair feels like he wants to hire a general manager, then he will hire a general manager and that will be just fine.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Palmer, Edwards Jr., Trubisky

Which quarterbacks will be available this offseason? NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal has you covered. Besides listing the impending free agents (including Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins), the writer also takes a look at several trade and release candidates.

The writer’s list of potential trade candidates is led by Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, while Tony Romo (Cowboys), Tyrod Taylor (Bills), and A.J. McCarron (Bengals) also earn mentions. Meanwhile, Rosenthal’s release candidates include Jay Cutler (Bears), Colin Kaepernick (49ers), Robert Griffin III (Browns), and Nick Foles (Chiefs).

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the NFL…

  • Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer has struggled for stretches this season, but the veteran doesn’t sound like he’s considering retirement. “Haven’t thought about next year but I expect to play in 2017,” the 36-year-old said today (via Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 on Twitter).
  • UNC QB Mitch Trubisky still hasn’t decided whether he’ll forego his senior season and declare for the NFL draft, reports ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Trubisky has had a breakout campaign, compiling 3,468 yards, 28 touchdowns, and four interceptions.
  • Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. said he had a “very solid workout” yesterday, and Caplan reports (via Twitter) that the second-year player could make his season debut next week. Edwards hasn’t played since injuring his hip during the preseason.
  • As organization’s begin to look at potential general manager candidates for next season, ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss says that Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort could be pursued. Reiss cites the success of four current NFL general managers who “cut their teeth” in New England: Bob Quinn (Lions,) Jon Robinson (Titans), Thomas Dimitroff (Falcons), and Jason Licht (Buccaneers).