HOUSTON – The Houston Texans are hiring longtime New England Patriots director of player staff Nick Caserio as their next general manager, a source said Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Caserio was in Houston earlier in the day to interview the team. He was due to return to New England on Tuesday evening, a source said.
The 45-year-old Caserio has been Patriotic Director of Player Personnel since 2008 and works with coach Bill Belichick as the highest-ranking employee in the human resources department. Since Caserio was awarded that role, New England has won three Super Bowls.
This was the second time the Texans asked to speak to Caserio. In 2019, after Houston fired General Manager Brian Gaine, Houston requested an interview with Caserio. After the patriots filed tampering charges, Texans CEO Cal McNair said Houston will no longer pursue him.
Caserio is the second former Patriots manager to join the Texans’ front office. Jack Easterby, Houston’s executive vice president of football operations, spent six seasons as the Patriots’ character coach before being hired by Houston in 2019.
In addition, Bill O’Brien, who was fired as head coach and general manager in October, spent five seasons as offensive coach in New England, and Romeo Crennel, who took on O’Brien as interim coach, was the Pats’ defense coordinator from 2001 to 2004.
Earlier this week, Texas quarterback Deshaun Watson gave a blunt assessment when asked what he was looking for in a new head coach: “We just need a whole culture shift.” He also said the organization as a whole needs to be on the same page: “There are too many different minds, too many different ideas, and too many people who think they have that power and it isn’t.”
Texas recipient Brandin Cooks, who played for the Patriots in 2017, described Caserio as “incredible”.
“He’s a special guy,” said Cooks. “To play with him in New England this year – just the guy he is, there is no ego. He’s about helping the team whatever he can.”
Along with Caserio, the Texans interviewed ESPN analyst and former front office manager Louis Riddick, Seattle Seahawks vice president of player staff Trent Kirchner, Pittsburgh Steelers vice president of football and corporate administration Omar Khan, and their own player staff director , Matt Bazirgan.
After the Texans fired Gaine in June 2019, McNair ultimately decided not to hire a general manager, giving former head coach O’Brien a greater say in personnel matters. The following January, McNair promoted O’Brien to general manager.
As GM, O’Brien made franchise-modified trades and acquired Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Miami Dolphins for a package that included two NFL first-round draft picks and one second round pick. On the same day, he gave the Seattle Seahawks the pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney.
After the 2019 season, O’Brien traded all-pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the Arizona Cardinals to run down David Johnson and a second round election.
After a 4-0 start into the 2020 season, McNair dismissed O’Brien and appointed Crennel as the team’s interim coach. Easterby also took on responsibility for overseeing the staff.