Belichick calls Nick Caserio 'great asset' for Patriots; Texans' pursuit is 'water under the bridge'

Belichick calls Nick Caserio 'great asset' for Patriots; Texans' pursuit is 'water under the bridge'

FOXBORO — The Patriots clearly weren't thrilled with Houston's pursuit of Nick Caserio this offseason. They filed tampering charges until the Texans (very publicly, thanks to a statement from Texans owner Cal McNair) dropped their pursuit of New England's director of player personnel.

Asked about the attempted hiring of Caserio by the Texans on Thursday morning, Bill Belichick called it "all water under the bridge."

Maybe. But if Caserio were to let his contract run out following the 2020 draft, it seems pretty clear he would be the top candidate for Houston's general manager job. That's an up-and-coming AFC foe, it appears, and Caserio could very well be running the operation in less than a year, working alongside former Patriots character coach Jack Easterby, who left New England to take on a role as executive vice president of team development for the Texans. 

Houston has gone so far as to not hire a general manager this year, seemingly keeping the seat open for when Caserio comes available. 

That could create a bit of an awkward situation here in Foxboro if Caserio is a GM-in-waiting, though Belichick didn't linger on any hard-to-deal-with changes that this offseason may have created. 

I asked Belichick, ahead of the first day of Patriots training camp practice, if he anticipated Caserio having a similar on-the-field role for the Patriots this summer. 

"We have had a number of changes on the staff," Belichick said. "Not everything will be exactly the same as it's been. It's not that way anyways. I'm sure a lot of things will be the same. There may be a few differences. There's differences for all of us. There's differences for me. There's differences for other coaches. I'm sure it'll be a little bit of both. Each year is a little bit different."

Caserio's coaching chops help make him one of the most versatile executives in the NFL. He served as Patriots receivers coach in 2007 when Randy Moss went on to set a record for touchdown receptions in a season. His qualifications could be particularly useful this year given that the team lost longtime wideout coach Chad O'Shea to the Dolphins. 

Joe Judge now has the dual responsibilities of receivers coach and special teams coach. Might it make sense, Belichick was asked, if Caserio gave Judge a hand?

"Nick helps in a lot of ways," Belichick said. "He has a lot of experience. I'm sure he does much more than any personnel person in the league does with his added coaching responsibilities and his interaction with the coaching staff. He's a great asset in a number of areas."

When the Texans were looking to hire Caserio, there was some question as to whether or not he was a "high-level employee." That type of employee can't be pursued while under contract. But, by rule, that type of employee doesn't have to have final say over the 53-man roster.

Caserio doesn't. But is he New England's "primary football executive?" Here's what Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran wrote back on June 11.

Caserio and Belichick share personnel duties even though Belichick has final authority. It could be argued he is a high-level club employee even without the 'VP' title. What’s that mean? It means the Patriots don’t have to give permission to him to interview for the suddenly vacant GM job in Houston

Here's the relevant rule:

An individual who is the primary football executive for the club and who has

(i)                 The primary authority over all personnel decisions related to the signing of free agents, the selection of players in the College Draft, trades and related decisions; and

(ii)                The primary responsibility for coordinating other football activities with the head coach

Final authority regarding the composition of the 53-player roster is not a requirement. Except as may be otherwise provided in such contract, a club is not obligated to grant another club permission to discuss employment with a high level employee if he or she is under contract even in the inquiring club is prepared to offer the employee a position of greater responsibility within the category of high-level club employee.

Is Caserio the "primary" authority on things like free-agent signings, the draft and trades? The Patriots could potentially make the argument that he is since he's running point on so many of those aspects of roster building — even while Belichick has final say on those calls.

Either way, Caserio is here. And Belichick still considers him a "great asset." We'll see if his on-the-field role has been changed at all following an unusual spring, but the Patriots could certainly benefit from his coaching experience in a season where the transition among those ranks has been significant. 

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Want Tom Brady's old car? QB is selling tricked-out Cadillac Escalade

Want Tom Brady's old car? QB is selling tricked-out Cadillac Escalade

Tom Brady really is intent on starting a new life in Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers quarterback already parted ways with his Brookline, Mass., home after leaving the New England Patriots in free agency. Now, Brady is putting his car up for sale.

This isn't just any car, of course: Brady is selling his 2017 stretched Cadillac Escalade ESV, which was custom-designed by Becker Automotive Design and cost the QB a cool $350,000.

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What does $350,000 get you in a car? Well, it's 20 feet long, and the inside essentially feels like a stretch limousine, with two "6-way electric reclining VIP seats with electric leg rests," two "aviation style folding tables hand veneered in a burl wood finish" and two television screens: one a 32-inch HD LCD screen and the other a 12-inch rear screen.

Here's a video "tour" of Brady's ride, because that's a thing:


In fact, the ex-Patriots QB loved his car so much that he even made a statement about it, claiming it actually helped boost his productivity.

"Parting ways with my Becker ESV won’t be easy," Brady said, via Becker's website. "From day one it became my sanctuary from the outside noise. I took pride in picking out all the customizations of the ESV; from the trim of the seats to the color of the rug.

"With such limited time in my busy schedule the ESV gave me those extra minutes to study my play book, make phone calls and be with my family. Immediately my productivity went up and my stress came down. I hope the next owner will take great care of her; she will always be a part of the Brady family."

There you have it: Patriots fans have a 2017 Escalade in part to thank for the team's Super Bowl LIII victory.

The Cadillac is currently going for $300,000, so if Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham wants to spend half of his rookie signing bonus, the wheels are all his.

Tom Brady recaps 'The Match' with jokes about concussions, ripped pants

Tom Brady recaps 'The Match' with jokes about concussions, ripped pants

There's a good chance Tom Brady had a more eventful Sunday than you.

With much of America hunkered down to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback joined Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods on a Florida golf course to play in "The Match," a rain-soaked golf round for charity.

Brady had an up-and-down day: He sunk an incredible shot for birdie and helped raise millions of dollars for COVID-19 relief but also ripped his pants and otherwise played some pretty poor golf as he and Mickelson lost to Manning and Woods.

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So, what did Brady take away from the whole thing? The ex-New England Patriots QB shared some lessons learned Wednesday on Instagram:

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I learned a few lessons from this past weekend’s golf tournament with @philmickelson @tigerwoods and #Peyton...I had a lot of fun and grateful to be part of an event that raised a lot of money for Covid relief: 1. Amazing what happens when groups of people come together for the common good. 2. Peyton is still as clutch as ever. 💯 3. I did not escape the inclement weather...heavy stuff...ALL DAY. 4. I shouldn’t wear the same pants to golf that I wear to church. 🤬 5. As great as @philmickelson is as a golfer, he is a better man, coach and teammate and potentially has the best calves on the PGA Tour. 6. I really enjoy halftime of football games we get checked for concussions, in golf, you get refreshments. 7. It was nice to be the young guy again. 👍🏼 8. @tigerwoods was a great host and champion, and I was especially thankful he missed that putt on the 7th hole...had he made it, I would have just went home. 😂 9. I’m sticking to my day job 🏈

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Brady begrudgingly showed Manning some respect after the ex-Colts and Broncos QB made some key shots late in "The Match" and made the obligatory joke about his wardrobe malfunction.

Brady also made a passing reference to concussions -- "I really enjoy halftime of football games we get checked for concussions, in golf, you get refreshments" -- which is notable considering he recently admitted he's "definitely had concussions" during his 20-year NFL career.

Brady is still going strong entering his age-43 season, though, and added as his last lesson that he's "sticking to my day job."

So, expect TB12 to get back out on the practice field with his Bucs teammates after his brief foray onto the links.