Caserio-Patriots-Texans affair headed down a dark path

The gloves have come off. The Patriots have fired the first salvo at the Houston Texans. When it comes to Nick Caserio, and keeping him in Foxboro, they’re playing hardball.

On Wednesday, they filed tampering charges against the Texans over pursuit of their director of player personnel. The Texans want Caserio to fill their newly vacant general manager’s post.

Not so fast.

It might have been a little too convenient that the Texans fired GM Brian Gaine the day after executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby, the Patriots former character coach, attended the team’s ring ceremony at Robert Kraft’s house with Caserio also present.

Coincidence?

Guessing the Patriots don’t think so. With that as a backdrop, they’re contending the Texans contacted Caserio not only before they filed a formal interview request Friday night, but, connecting the dots, also prior to Gaine getting canned.

Were the Texans that transparent? Or stupid? Easterby is a bright guy, but as a former team chaplain and character coach, might not be up with all the tampering rules. We’ll see.

The NFL will begin an investigation and sort all of that out. But that finding won’t necessarily stop a Caserio move to Houston, even if it burns some bridges with Easterby, and Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, who both have Patriots ties.

Here’s where it could potentially get even messier. If Easterby did in fact chat with Caserio, and returned to Houston with intel that Bill Belichick’s right hand man wanted or was at least interested in the GM’s job, all of the Patriots stonewalling and attempts to block might create some hard feelings with their valued executive.

While Caserio performs a million duties worthy of a general manager and beyond, he doesn’t have the title. He’s been happy in New England, but he’s always had the desire to run a team on his own.

The Pats did block Houston’s attempt last year while they were in the playoffs. Caserio, however, was allowed to interview for the Dolphins GM post several years back.

Currently, he’s involved in personnel, scouting and coaching. He’s very involved in practices, often throwing and catching passes. On game days, he’s an eye in the sky, sitting in the press box with the other coaches and passing information down to the coaches on the field.

There’s no question his loss would be significant. Like Belichick, team owner Robert Kraft and quarterback Tom Brady, Caserio has been a part of all six Super Bowl wins.

The Patriots have already lost quite a few coaches from their championship winning team. There’s been a lot of turnover already this season. He’s essential to what the Patriots do going forward, especially with all that turnover.

So beyond fighting with the Texans, the Patriots might want to think about other ways to keep Caserio. One would be to officially make him the general manager, so there would be no gray areas involving whether they can block the move, or not. The Texans job would be a lateral move, and not a promotion in that case.

And, just as they …read more

Source:: Boston Herald

      

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