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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WATCH: Rob Gronkowski loses WWE 24/7 title to R-Truth

WATCH: Rob Gronkowski loses WWE 24/7 title to R-Truth

Rob Gronkowski's run as WWE 24/7 champion has come to an end.

The former New England Patriots tight end, who has been the 24/7 champ for the last 58 days, was defeated by R-Truth in his backyard while filming a TikTok video. Yes, that's a lot to process, so we'll just let you watch the clip below:


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What that means for Gronk's WWE future is uncertain, but it looks like it's officially time for No. 87 to shift his focus to the upcoming season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Gronk initially won the 24/7 championship at WrestleMania 36, where he pinned Mojo Rawley.

Dante Scarnecchia hints at new Patriots offensive line coaching structure

Dante Scarnecchia hints at new Patriots offensive line coaching structure

Dante Scarnecchia reportedly helped the New England Patriots at this year's NFL Scouting Combine, but he's not coming out of retirement a second time.

How do we know this? Because the former Patriots offensive line coach has already named his successors.

In a recent interview with ESPN's Mike Reiss, Scarnecchia all but confirmed that Patriots assistants Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo will coach the offensive line in tandem this season.

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"They're both really good coaches and both really good people. Very, very smart guys," Scarnecchia told Reiss. "I know no one has been named, and there are reasons for that, but clearly those are the two guys that are going to do it, and I think they'll do an outstanding job.

"The other thing is they know the players. It's not like they're new, coming in from the outside. They've both been around there -- especially Cole, who has been in the system for five years. Carm for one."

The Patriots' official website (which has never been heavy on details) still lists Scarnecchia as the team's offense line coach. Popovich is listed as New England's assistant running backs coach, while Bricillo is labeled a "coaching assistant."

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Both assistant coaches have experience on the offensive line, though: Popovich was the offensive line coach at Minot State for two seasons until joining the Patriots in 2015, while Bricillo spent nine years as Youngstown State's offensive line coach before coming to New England in 2019.

The Patriots went outside the organization to replace Scarnecchia the first time he retired, naming Dave DeGuglielmo their offensive line coach in 2014. DeGuglielmo lasted just two seasons in New England, though, and it appears the Patriots are promoting from within this time to replace the legendary Scarnecchia -- who, to be clear, is not coming back in 2020.

"I've done it for 48 years. I think that's plenty," Scarnecchia told Reiss, "and I'm really, really grateful for every day, every year of those 48, and all the things it's provided us."