Houston Texans hiring New England Patriots exec Nick Caserio as GM, source says

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans are hiring longtime New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio as their next general manager, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday.

Caserio was in Houston to interview with the team earlier in the day. He was expected to fly back home to New England on Tuesday night, a source said.

Caserio, 45, has served as Patriots director of player personnel since 2008 and works alongside coach Bill Belichick as the highest-ranked staffer in the personnel department. Since Caserio earned that role, New England has won three Super Bowls.

This was the second time the Texans have requested to speak with Caserio. In 2019, after Houston fired general manager Brian Gaine, Houston requested to interview Caserio. After the Patriots filed tampering charges, Texans CEO Cal McNair said Houston would no longer pursue him.

Caserio is the second former Patriots executive 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 he was hired by Houston in 2019.

In addition, Bill O'Brien, who was fired in October as head coach and general manager, spent five seasons as an offensive coach in New England, and Romeo Crennel, who took over for O'Brien as interim head coach, was the Pats' defensive coordinator from 2001 through 2004.

Earlier this week, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson offered a blunt assessment when asked what he's looking for in a new head coach, saying, "We just need a whole culture shift." He also said the organization as a whole needs to be on the same page: "There's too many different minds, too many different ideas and too many people thinking they have this power, and it's not like that."

Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who played for the Patriots in 2017, described Caserio as "unbelievable."

"He's a special dude," Cooks said. "Playing with him in New England for that year -- just the guy that he is, there's no ego. He's all about helping the team in whatever he can."

Along with Caserio, the Texans interviewed ESPN analyst and former front-office executive Louis Riddick, Seattle Seahawks vice president of player personnel Trent Kirchner, Pittsburgh Steelers vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan and their own director of player personnel, Matt Bazirgan.

After the Texans fired Gaine in June 2019, McNair ultimately elected not to hire a general manager, giving former head coach O'Brien more say over personnel matters. The following January, McNair promoted O'Brien to general manager.

As GM, O'Brien made franchise-altering trades, acquiring left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Miami Dolphins for a package that included two first-round NFL draft picks and a second-round pick. That same day, he dealt pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks.

Following the 2019 season, O'Brien traded All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson and a second-round pick.

After an 0-4 start to the 2020 season, McNair fired O'Brien and named Crennel the team's interim coach and also gave Easterby the responsibility of overseeing personnel.