The Houston Texans fired GM Brian Gaine last Friday and are looking for a replacement. They tried to convince Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio to come work for them, and all that accomplished is accusations of tampering.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported today that the Patriots have filed tampering charges against the Texans in their attempted hire of Caserio for the GM position. The two teams already have a couple of connections: Houston head coach Bill O’Brien was formerly the Pats’ offensive coordinator, and former New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel currently holds that same position on O’Brien’s team. Back in 2018, before the Texans hired Gaine, they tried to interview Caserio and director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, but the Patriots rejected the requests.
Those aren’t the guys mentioned in this supposed tampering, however. According to Schefter’s report, the case involves a different person who’s worked for both teams: Jack Easterby, the Patriots’ former “character coach” who was hired by the Texans for a job title with more words.
Houston fired general manager Brian Gaine the night after New England’s Super Bowl ring ceremony on June 6 at Robert Kraft’s house. The Texans finished in first place in the AFC South with an 11-5 record last season.
Former Patriots team chaplain and current Texans executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby attended that party, as did Caserio, New England’s director of player personnel since 2008. The Texans have requested permission to interview Caserio for their GM job but have not been granted permission to date, per sources.
In the wake of Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s handjob scandal, Easterby left the team because he was reportedly uneasy with the situation, but he was still on good enough terms to show up at the team’s ring ceremony last weekend. His new responsibilities are just as vague as his old ones, but he’s already gained influence in the Texans’ front office, perhaps enough influence to offer people jobs. The Patriots are curious as to why Gaine was fired the day after Easterby and Caserio were at the same party. (Or, maybe the Patriots are using a petty procedure against another team because of how Easterby departed earlier this year. Maybe both!)
Over the weekend, the Texans interviewed two other candidates, Ray Farmer and Martin Mayhew, although they haven’t made a decision yet. When he was asked about Caserio on Tuesday, O’Brien gave a very carefully worded answer: