BOSTON (CBS) — It appears as though Josh McDaniels won’t be going anywhere this offseason, remaining in New England after he and the Cleveland Browns agreed they weren’t the best of fits for each other. Barring a surprise firing between now and the start of the 2020 season, the Patriots won’t have to go find a new offensive coordinator.
That’s good news for Bill Belichick, but the Patriots GM/head coach may still have to find a new right-hand man this winter. With McDaniels’ situation out of the way, now the Patriots can try to figure out what’s next for director of player personnel, Nick Caserio.
Caserio’s contract is up in New England following the upcoming draft, and he’ll be free to join any team he wants. The 44-year-old has worked in the Patriots front office since 2001, working his way from a personnel assistant and scout to director of the department, helping the franchise win six Super Bowls along the way. (Caserio was also an offensive coaching assistant in 2002 and served as wide receivers coach in 2007.)
There are only three teams that don’t currently employ a general manager: The Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans. It’s that last team that should concern Patriots fans the most, as the Texans reportedly made a pretty hard push to get Caserio last year while he was still under contract.
Rumor had it that when former Patriots character coach Jack Easterby made it back to New England from his new gig as Houston’s VP of team development to pick up his Super Bowl ring, he had a chat with Caserio about taking over the Texans front office. (Bill Belichick later denied that as being the case.) That didn’t sit well with the Patriots, and the team promptly filed tampering charges against the Texans. Both sides eventually called a truce, with Houston ending their courtship of Caserio and New England dropping the tampering allegations.
The Texans did not hire a GM ahead of last season, and it’s reportedly not in the plans for 2020, either. But it wouldn’t be a surprise if they make another push for Caserio when he hits the open market, and with Easterby and Bill O’Brien, the Texans look like a real threat to lure Caserio out of New England. After what we saw over the weekend, O’Brien could definitely use another bright football mind at his disposal.
Caserio could always re-up with the Patriots, the only organization he’s ever worked for in the NFL. But if the Texans offer him final say on the roster, something he doesn’t own in New England, rumors of Caserio leaving town may actually come true.