Patriots reject Texans' request to interview top executives for GM job

New England rejected Houston's request to interview Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort for the Texans' general manager job, and the Eagles told the Texans the same about their vice president of player personnel, Joe Douglas, a league source told ESPN.

Although Caserio and Ossenfort were prohibited from interviewing in-season, it doesn't mean the matter is closed.

Under the NFL's loosened rules for hiring executives from other teams, Caserio and Ossenfort still might be able to interview for the Texans' GM job after the Patriots' season ends, according to a league source.

Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst was scheduled to interview for the Texans' opening Sunday but instead was promoted to general manager by Green Bay, a source told ESPN. Buffalo Bills vice president of player personnel Brian Gaine is now considered the favorite for Houston's GM job, sources told ESPN.

Dallas Cowboys vice president of personnel Will McClay has permission to speak with the Texans but has not heard from the club yet.

Caserio, who worked with Texans head coach Bill O'Brien in New England, represents another key Patriot who could depart New England after this season.

The Patriots already are poised to lose defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to head-coaching opportunities with other teams. New England linebackers coach Brian Flores interviewed with the Cardinals on Saturday, and Caserio and Ossenfort also are in demand in what amounts to an unresolved situation until the Texans fill their general manager job.

Last year, the Patriots allowed Caserio to talk with the 49ers, but this year Houston did not receive the same opportunity.

But new rules implemented by the NFL last offseason will give Caserio and other front-office executives some flexibility. In past years, certain teams blocked other teams from interviewing key front-office executives by saying that the individual had final say on the 53-man roster.

The exact language from the NFL's anti-tampering policy reads as follows: "Final authority regarding the composition of the 53-player roster is not a requirement."

The Texans are seeking a new GM after Rick Smith announced last weekend that he will take an extended leave of absence from the team to help care for his wife while she battles breast cancer.

ESPN's Todd Archer contributed to this report.