Patriots

Could Texans still try to swing a trade for Patriots exec Nick Caserio?

Could Texans still try to swing a trade for Patriots exec Nick Caserio?

Unless the Texans found former GM Brian Gaine so inept they couldn’t take him for another day, one gets the feeling the team leaped before they looked when they canned him.

Now, with their pursuit of Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio running aground, the team is without a personnel chief and Gaine is doing whatever exiled GMs do in June when they have the rug pulled from under them.

The Texans, according to Houston oracle John McClain, will divvy up the workload between head coach Bill O'Brien, executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby, director of player personnel Matt Bazirgan and senior vice president of administration Chris Olsen.

Houston is an upper echelon AFC team. For them to seemingly create an issue where one didn’t outwardly exist and then have no remedy in place is the kind of self-sabotage that’s helped keep the Patriots where they’ve been for two decades.

Making it worse is that Caserio and Easterby have the same agent, Bob LaMonte. Houston should have been able to find out Caserio had the clause in his contract preventing him from leaving the Patriots before his deal expires after the 2020 draft .

(In case you are wondering, no, I didn’t know the Patriots character coach had an agent before this process began either.)

What’s the Texans’ recourse? They can wait, keeping the seat warm for Caserio. They can do what they did when they hired Gaine, skipping down the list to grab someone they may not be sold on. They can make another run at Patriots Director of College Scouting Monti Ossenfort, who the Patriots blocked them from speaking to in January of 2018. Or they can keep up their pursuit of Caserio with a trade.

The possibility of that happening remains alive for another few weeks before training camp begins.

What would it cost? The Patriots' asking price would have to be a first-rounder. Caserio is making around $2M per year according to a 2017 report by Jeff Howe. The Patriots have a streamlined personnel department so his workload is substantial. He also is instrumental as a coach-without-title and shares a brain with Bill Belichick on the types of players Belichick wants in his program. The reason Caserio has the autonomy he does — and he does have more than people think — is because he inherently knows what his boss is looking for.

A first-rounder would seem to be a non-starter for Houston. It’s bad enough they are parading around the party with their fly down. A first-rounder would seem like they’re compounding the mistake.

Something less? Even though Caserio certainly has very high value, to me, the Patriots need to gauge Caserio’s frame of mind and perhaps consider a deal.

I don’t know that he “wants out” but I’m certain he’d have enjoyed the chance to hear a pitch about making more dough, crafting a team with O’Brien and having a part in something that’s being built rather than maintained.

To be blocked from doing so — albeit because of a clause in a contract he agreed to — well, it’s got to feel constricting. And it makes Caserio a lame duck GM as his contract winds down.

Will the Patriots do anything to assuage any irritation he has before he and the personnel staff embark on the grueling process of scouting college players, evaluating every one of the other 31 rosters in the league and making the scores of roster moves the team annually makes?

Or would they consider getting value for him while they still can as they would with a player on an expiring contract?

The question is, how motivated are the Texans to get their man?  

Click here for latest Patriots 53-man roster projection

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Aaron Rodgers has great response to critics of Patriots QB Tom Brady

Aaron Rodgers has great response to critics of Patriots QB Tom Brady

Some of the criticism thrown at New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is just silly.

The most famous hot take on Brady's alleged decline came in the summer of 2016 when Max Kellerman said on ESPN's "First Take" that Brady would soon "fall off a cliff." Well, in the three years since Kellerman's bold remark, Brady has won two more Super Bowl titles (in three appearances) and an MVP award. 

Sometimes, you just have to laugh at these critics.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers admitted to doing that during his appearance Tuesday on ESPN Radio's "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz." Here's the exchange:

Question: Do you look at Brady the way we all do? Like, what the hell? He's 42, what the hell, Aaron.

Rodgers: "I do. I think I laugh with him a little bit when they replay some of the remarks, especially after that Chiefs game I think a lot of us remember from (2014) when the Chiefs kind of blew them out on a Sunday or Monday night and everyone was (saying), 'This is it. Brady's done. The Pats are done.' You look at what they've done since then. That's the beauty at times in this sport and playing, for him, at obviously such a high level. Sometimes you're looking around and you're like, 'Man, maybe I need some inspiration this week,' and having something like that to go back to whenever you want. People are just waiting for him to like regress, and it's like, it's not happening. Not happening. But the first time he has a game he doesn't throw three (touchdowns), it's gonna be like, 'Here it is. Here's the beginning.' And sure enough, there's a little more ammo for him to be like, 'What you say? Oh yeah? OK, cool. I'm going back to the Super Bowl.'" 

Rodgers has faced his own share of criticism over the last few years as the Packers have struggled to find playoff success, so he has a bit of an understanding of what Brady has dealt with over the last decade or so.

Brady and Rodgers went head-to-head last season for just the second time, and the Patriots prevailed in a 31-17 win at Gillette Stadium. It's possible that meeting was the last one before Brady retires, unless of course they square off in the Super Bowl.

And, judging by the way the Patriots and Packers have played through two games this season, a Brady-Rodgers showdown in Super Bowl LIV certainly is a possibility.

Only one player ahead of Tom Brady in latest MVP betting odds>>>

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Tom Brady trails only one player in latest 2019 NFL MVP betting odds

Tom Brady trails only one player in latest 2019 NFL MVP betting odds

The New England Patriots offense looks like a juggernaut through the first two weeks of the 2019 season, but there's still one player with better odds than Tom Brady to win NFL MVP.

The Patriots quarterback has thrown for 605 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions over two games. He's also completing 68.8 percent of his passes and has a near-perfect passer rating against blitzes.

These stats are impressive, but he still trails Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in several stat categories. Mahomes also happens to be the clear early favorite among oddsmakers to win the league's MVP award.

Here are the latest MVP odds from Caesars Palace:

Mahomes leads the NFL with 821 passing yards, and his eight touchdowns are tied for the league lead. The Chiefs, like the Patriots, are 2-0 after a pair of dominant performances.

The Chiefs quarterback won the Associated Press NFL MVP last season, and we haven't see a repeat winner of this award since Peyton Manning in 2008 and 2009. Brady last won in 2017 and has three AP MVPs on his resumé.

Both Brady and Mahomes will be top MVP candidates throughout the season, and the outcome of the Week 14 showdown between the Patriots and Chiefs at Gillette Stadium in December could play a meaningful role in the final voting. 

Latest Patriots vs. Jets Week 3 spread is laughably big>>>

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