Not in this case.
The Patriots may have won this round, but keeping Caserio is not the true story here. The real story is this: Nick Caserio wants to leave New England.
More specifically, he wants the Texans to work, even if it was more of a lateral movement than a real promotion. And to prevent Caserio from leaving, the Patriots had to enforce a clause in his contract and lay charges of forgery.
The Caserio deal would have been submitted to the NFL 2020 project. To use the terms of football, the Patriots forced Caserio to execute his contract before reaching the stage of the free agency.
The Patriots' win keeps Bill Belichick's right hand in Foxborough for another season, but also exposes some tensions inside the walls of Gillette Stadium that we thought had calmed down since last year.
Belichick and Tom Brady seem to have solved the problem. But there has been a surprising exodus of coaches and scouts over the past two years (especially this year), which raises questions about the working environment in Foxborough.
Five coaches left this season (not all for promotions). Jack Easterby is gone. Dujuan Daniels, a long-time scout, is gone. Greg Schiano left after a month.
And now, we see that Caserio also wants to go out. If Caserio wanted to stay in New England, he would have simply refused the Texans' openings. Instead, the Patriots had to hire a lawyer to enforce Caserio's contract.
This is the second year in a row that the Patriots must prevent Caserio from interviewing Texans. Last year, they also prevented the director of screening at universities, Monti Ossenfort, from conducting interviews for the same job. It was said that he was not too happy about it.
Patriots have the right to force their employees to respect their contracts. And I would not blame them for being upset if Easterby, the new Texans team development vice president, took advantage of the Kraft Patriotes' June 6 ceremony to recruit Caserio (the former Texan general manager). , Brian Gaine, was sacked).
But it's certainly an important plot case that Caserio wants out, especially when he seems to have a good thing to do in Foxborough.
Caserio may not be the best dog in New England, but he is a close n ° 2. He must negotiate contracts, choose a large number of players, organize training sessions, help in practice, talk on headphones during games and a million little things that the Patriots do not talk to us about. Caserio has been in New England since the beginning of the dynasty (2001), probably earns several million a year, raised his family here and goes to the Super Bowl every year.
And as I wrote last week, this job in Houston is absolutely not perfect. Coaches Bill O'Brien and Easterby, both former Patriots with whom Caserio has good relations, certainly have an interesting setup. But that sounds like a sideways move, since Caserio would always work with a head coach who has the greatest control over the lineup. And the Texan army may not be very strong, with O'Brien's record in the playoffs (1-3) in five seasons, and the overthrow of Gaine after 16 months.
If Caserio is concerned about job security, there is no better place than New England, where he spent 19 years.
Still, Caserio still wants the job in Houston.
Maybe it's just a question of money or opportunity for growth. Whatever his motivation, this episode says that Caserio thinks his stay in Foxborough is over.
The Patriots, if they wish, have a year to convince Caserio to stay. He and his former university buddy, Josh McDaniels, are obvious candidates to replace Belichick, every time he moves on to something else (even though no one to whom I spoke thinks that day it's coming soon). Caserio may want to go out, but the money is still talking.
But each sign indicates that Caserio will land with the Texans for the off season.
When the Texans fired Sheath, this was done for a reason: to hire Caserio. They interviewed Martin Mayhew and Ray Farmer for the job – two minority candidates who might follow the Rooney NFL rule – but since losing to Caserio, they have decided to leave without a general manager for the 2019 season. O'Brien, Easterby and Chris Olsen, the main contract negotiator, will lead the football team.
Nothing will prevent Texans from signing Caserio next spring, when he will become a free agent. The only question that arises is whether the Patriotes will apply the Caserio contract to the end. Do they really want Caserio to execute his project next spring, knowing that he will leave for Houston as soon as the announcement of the final choice?
I do not expect this episode to affect the professionalism of Caserio this year because I do not think he would let himself go to work or to a similar task.
But it is interesting to say that Caserio wants to leave New England. And despite Foxborough's appearance of harmony and joy following the sixth Super Bowl title, things may not be as rosy and perfect as they appear.