The Houston Texans have hired Nick Caserio who will become the General Manager for the team. Caserio joins the Texans after a 20-season tenure with the New England Patriots where he served in a number of roles. Out of the 9 Super Bowl appearances the Patriots made in his 20 years, they won 6 titles. He is credited with being instrumental in signing, developing and drafting players who in turn became important role players in the winning dynasties he helped build.
Texans Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cal McNair said of the hire, “The Houston Texans are an organization committed to excellence. Since the start of our search, we have been steadfast on identifying a general manager that embodies what it means to be a Houston Texan, and it is Nick Caserio. Nick is an incredibly hard worker, disciplined, a man of integrity and high character. He has a tremendous amount of experience building a winning franchise and we have faith he will continue his success as a Texan. Nick has an unparalleled reputation around the league amongst his peers. We couldn’t be more excited to name him our new general manager and to welcome his family to Houston.”
In response to the hire, Caserio said, “On behalf of my wife Kathleen and our entire family, I’m very humbled and honored by this opportunity to be the general manager of the Houston Texans. We would like to thank Janice, Cal and Hannah McNair for their belief in us that we can build something special that embraces the accomplishments of the past and accepts the challenges in front of us in our desire to be best. This moment would not be possible without the support and guidance of those that have invested in me personally and professionally. We are forever grateful to the Kraft Family, Bill Belichick as well as the entire New England Patriots organization that has blessed our family in ways we can never repay. Our goal now is to serve the Texans organization and the Houston community by putting together a team that we all can be proud of on and off the field.”
Normally, a hire like this would be pretty routine and not that newsworthy. What makes this hire unique is that not everyone is pleased with the decision. Namely Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson who shot off a cryptic tweet that read, “some things never change…” Watson later deleted the tweet but the timing indicated that it was due to his displeasure with the way Caserio was hired. Unlike the NBA, in the NFL star players are rarely included in hiring/personnel decisions. The past couple of years for the Texans have been full of questionable decision-making that includes but is not limited to the abrupt trade of DeAndre Hopkins. To quell his uncertainties there was an understanding that the organization would be a bit more transparent with Watson and take into consideration his thoughts. Watson suggested that the Texans look into hiring Omar Khan or Louis Riddick for the general manager position. Instead, they moved ahead with the Caserio hire. Caserio is linked to the Patriots dynasty just like former Texans head Coach Bill O’Brien, which in turn appears to be more of the same. The Texans have been in hot water for a while now in regards to their tepid/indifferent/insensitive response to the racial injustice movements happening within their league and across the nation. Part of the problem is that there isn’t a very big minority presence in ownership/leadership positions off the field around the league. The optics are showing that the Texans are heading down a path of more of the same. With Watson’s input being dismissed, it begs the question if the invitation for his opinon was purely performative. For what it’s worth a few names that have been thrown into the hat for Head Coaching interviews include Leslie Frazier and David Culley. In the end the trust appears to already be broken between the franchise and Watson.
Watson has a couple of options if he remains unsure about his future with the team. He could potentially sit out of the next season or demand a trade. He could also just see what comes of the Caserio hire. That said, Watson isn’t the only Texan who is tired of the instability of the team so the Texans certainly have their work cut out for them this off-season.