The Texans might have stopped pursuing Patriots executive Nick Caserio for their open general manager position, but that doesn’t mean the drama’s over for either team. 

As a matter of fact, it might just be getting started. 

On the Patriots’ end, there could be some drama and/or tension at the top of the organization, and that’s because New England basically blocked Caserio from taking a job he wanted. According to the Boston Globe, Caserio wanted to leave New England so that he could take the GM job in Houston.

The Globe’s initial story on Caserio came out on Monday, and soon confusion emerged regarding whether writer Ben Volin meant for the story to be a report or an opinion piece. However, Volin went on WEEI’s “Mut & Callahan Show” on Wednesday to finally clarify things once and for all.

Per CBS Boston:

Host Mike Mutnansky asked Volin point-blank if the story can now officially be considered a reported story by Volin.

“Absolutely. I stand by everything that is written there. It’s all, I think, 100 percent true. Yes,” Volin said. “There’s no other way to interpret this story. The facts speak for themselves. And I know things on background. I know things about the relationship among the guys in the front office. I don’t think this will affect Nick Caserio’s job performance this year. I think he’s good at his job and doesn’t want to affect his reputation and things of that nature. But he looks around the league and he sees all these guys who are less accomplished than him getting general manager jobs, probably making more money than him. He’s been here 19 years, he’s restless. He wants to go be a general manager. And the Houston job, while I do think it’s a lateral move, is obviously a good setup for him.”

At any rate, Caserio won’t be heading to the Texans anytime soon due to the fact that the Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans for the way they handled the situation with their exec. According to Pro Football Talk, the Patriots apparently had photos, videos, and “other proof” of interactions at the team’s ring ceremony between Caserio and Jack Easterby, a former Patriots employee who now works for the Texans. 

The situation almost went from bad to worse for Houston, but before things could get any uglier, the Texans decided to end their pursuit of Caserio, which led the Patriots to drop their tampering claims. According to Texans CEO Cal McNair, the pursuit was dropped because there was a clause in Caserio’s contract that would have kept him from interviewing with Houston. 

“When we started the process to interview Nick Caserio for our EVP/GM position, we consulted the league office on numerous occasions, followed the procedures outlined in the league’s rules and believed we were in full compliance,” McNair said on June 12. “We have now been made aware of certain terms in Nick’s contract with the Patriots. Once we were made aware of these contract terms, I informed Mr. Kraft that we would stop pursuing Nick.”

Although the tampering charges have been dropped, there could still be an awkward dynamic at the top of the organization in New England, and that’s because the Patriots are basically forcing Caserio to stay with them for at least one more season. Caserio has been with the Patriots since Bill Belichick was hired in 2001, and right now, it seems like he’s going to be stuck in New England until his contract expires, which will reportedly happen after the 2020 NFL Draft. At that point, the Texans would be allowed to hire him. 

In the meantime, the Texans have some drama of their own. The team has apparently decided to go without a general manager for 2019 so they can seemingly hire Caserio next year. Basically, the Patriots appear to be delaying the inevitable.

One other thing worth noting is that if Caserio had left, it would have continued a mass exodus out of New England, which could be viewed as mildly concerning. During the 2019 offseason, the Patriots have lost multiple employees, including receivers coach Chad O’Shea, cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer and assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski, who all followed Brian Flores to Miami. The Patriots also lost longtime scout Dujuan Daniels, who left for the Raiders. Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano left after a month, and Easterby jumped ship in April to take a job as the Texans’ executive vice president of team development.

Easterby, who apparently helped start all of this drama by allegedly recruiting Caserio at the Patriots’ ring ceremony, had been in New England since 2013 before taking the Texans’ job.