Why aren’t the Texans hiring a G.M.?

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Of the many bizarre twists and turns the Texans have taken over the past eight days, perhaps the most bizarre is this: The team won’t have a General Manager in 2019.

So, basically, Brian Gaine was fired (and will be paid), and no one will take his place.

The end result raises plenty of questions, beginning with the most obvious: Why?

Some in league circles think the explanation is simple. The belief is that the Texans will bide their time and hire Patriots director of player personnel Caserio after the 2019 season ends, utilizing a cleaner procedure that avoids potential claims that the Texans spoke prematurely with Caserio or his agent. (Surprisingly, or not, Caserio and Texans executive Jack Easterby are both represented by Bob Lamonte.)

Unburdened by proof of actual tampering, the Texans could then attempt to hire Caserio, challenging the arguably unenforceable clause preventing Caserio from leaving his non-G.M. job for a true G.M. job.

Next question: Who will perform the G.M. duties without a G.M.?

The current management structure, as noted by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, consists of coach Bill O’Brien, executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby, senior vice president Chris Olsen (who handles the salary cap and contract negotiations), and team president Jamey Rootes (who runs the business side of the franchise). Presumably, O’Brien will become the top talent evaluator, especially since he already has final say over the 53-man roster. Some suspect that Easterby, whose rise from Chiefs’ team chaplain to the Texans’ executive vice president has been both meteoric and, for many, confusing, will continue to climb the ladder, regardless of whether it’s anchored in bed of quicksand.

Next question: Why did the Texans interview Ray Farmer and Martin Mayhew?

This is the one that is creating the biggest buzz in league circles. Given that both men are minority candidates, and in light of the speed with which they were interviewed, some suspect that the Texans hoped to quickly comply with the Rooney Rule via the Farmer interview, to over-comply with the Rooney Rule via Mayhew interview, and then to quickly hire Caserio. By interviewing no other candidates and by hiring neither Farmer nor Mayhew after the pursuit of Caserio imploded, the Farmer and Mayhew interviews look like shams.

Really, when has a team ever interviewed multiple candidates for a key job and decided to hire none of them? The speed with which the Texans decided not to pursue Caserio and not to hire anyone at all leads to a know-it-when-you-see-it conclusion that the Texans fired Gaine to hire Caserio, interviewed Farmer and Mayhew to stay on the right side of the Rooney Rule, made their move to hire Caserio, failed, and punted.

Although there was no Rooney Rule violation (it’s hard to violate the Rooney Rule when the team ultimately hired no one), the inescapable impression is that the Texans wanted Caserio, they interviewed Farmer and Mayhew because the Rooney Rule required it, and then they hired no one when they couldn’t get the only candidate they wanted.

They wanted Caserio. They presumably still do. Perhaps when the Texans finally fill the job, Farmer, Mayhew, and all other candidates (minority or otherwise) will decline to be interviewed.

53 responses to “Why aren’t the Texans hiring a G.M.?

  1. Is there some arcane federal law that says that a pro football team must have a GM?
    WHY is this any one else’s business outside of the Texans?
    Oh wait…I SEE what this is now…why this topic is so VITALLY important to the media.
    The media wants a “Rooney rule” for the GM position.
    THAT’s why we keep hearing about this.
    IMO hire the BEST candidate or don’t hire anyone…I don’t freakin’ care because I’m a Steelers fan, not a Texans fan.

  2. 1) The Texan GM job isn’t an upgrade for Caserio as O’Brien has final say on GM stuff.
    2) If there really was contract language, Texans would’ve become aware of it when they tried to hire Caserio last offseason too. And NFL would’ve been aware if it was improper when they reviewed said contract.

  3. Are you serious? We know EXACTLY why the Texans aren’t hiring a GM and why Gaine was fired. Billy O and Nick talk often. They had a handshake deal in place for Nick to be the GM. Once OB knew that Nick would accept the job, he fired Gaine. But Belichick knows the nature of the relationship with Jack, obrien and Nick so he blocked those plans. Trust me, no one believed Farmer and Mayhew were legitimate candidates. It was just window dressing and precisely the reason the Rooney Rule exists anyway.

  4. Thanks to the Rooney rule, now Farmer and Mayhew have egg on their faces and were still not given a fair shake at a job.

  5. Well it’s not like there’s a lot left to do considering it says here Obrien has final say on the 53 so outside of contract extensions there’s not a whole lot left since scouts are still in place and the majority of that 53 if not all is probably already on the roster.

  6. If no minority applies for the job next year they can pay someone to sit in for an alleged meeting. Rooney rule makes no sense. If a person is best qualified he or she will get the job regardless of race or nationality and on the flip side an owner should be able to hire whomever he or she chooses instead of worrying about a “quota”.

  7. That’s funny. Caserio wants to leave an organization he has been with since 2001 because he wants to work with a head coach that has run off 2 GMs already. Really? That’s what Caserio has said?

  8. Minority candidates only being interviewed to tick a box is the big problem with the Rooney rule. The only difference here is the Texans have been caught out due to Caserio’s contract with the Patriots.

  9. Even as a Steelers fan, I really dislike the Rooney rule. Teams should interview minority candidates because they want to, not because they are forced too. Imagine if you were one of those minority candidates interviewing, and knowing you have no chance at the job and the team is just trying to cover their ass? That would seem more disrespectful to me then anything. Has the Rooney rule really led to more minority hires throughout the league? I don’t think so and it has to end.

  10. Wanting to be the Patriots and being the Patriots will only frustrate you O’Brien. You took the Texans job because you wanted to make your mark only to find out that BBs scent markings are in every NFL city. He owns the NFL.

  11. Everyone complaining about the Roony Rule is missing the most important point of the rule. These interviews make the candidates better by being involved in the process, whether they get the job or not. The experience is the point, minority candidates were not getting the interviews that were consistant with the percentage of lower level positions they held in the league. Stop complaining about something that doesn’t matter in your life and never will.

  12. The media wants a “Rooney rule” for the GM position.
    THAT’s why we keep hearing about this.
    IMO hire the BEST candidate or don’t hire anyone…I don’t freakin’ care because I’m a Steelers fan, not a Texans fan.

    20 19 Rate This

    This rule was literally created by and named for the owner of the Steelers.

  13. Tom Pelissero
    ‏Verified account @TomPelissero

    Nick Caserio’s contract with the #Patriots is up after the 2020 draft, per sources. So after dropping pursuit of Caserio in light of contract issue, the #Texans’ options now are: 1) Hire someone else as GM; or 2) Wait until next year. For now, I’m told the process will continue.

  14. Tom Pelissero
    ‏Verified account @TomPelissero
    19h19 hours ago

    My understanding is the call between Cal McNair and Robert Kraft was very cordial. Language at issue in Nick Caserio’s contract had been there awhile. Once #Texans were aware, they asked what a trade would cost. No deal, so they move on and #Patriots drop tampering charge.

  15. “The belief is that the Texans will bide their time and hire Patriots director of player personnel Caserio after the 2019 season ends”

    Here’s the problem with that. Caserio’s contract does not end with the end of the 2019 season. It is written to expire after the 2020 draft.

    If the Texans want to hire him then he will not be involved in next year’s draft process, one of the main jobs of the GM.

  16. The Texans have already been through the draft and free agency. They’ve franchised Clowney and don’t have to do anything else with him. They really don’t need a GM right now, and any kind of personnel decisions would just be O’Brien and McNair anyways. They can just sit back and wait for Caserio’s contract to expire if they really want him.

  17. “IMO hire the BEST candidate or don’t hire anyone…”

    The teams do exactly that, at least whoever they consider the best candidate is. The Rooney rule is to give interviewing experience to minorities that’s it, due to the massive white bias at the team management level throughout the league prior to that that allowed very few opportunities for minority candidates.

    I’m a 60 year old white guy and seeing people boo hooing at the horror of teams having to interview but not hire a minority candidate would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.

  18. Must be painful to be used over and over to satisfy some insulting rule that was put in place simply because of white guilt. Does anyone really think any team is going to pass over talent based on their skin color? Ridiculous.

  19. A team can get along fine without someone having the title of G.M. It doesn’t mean that all the team’s needs are not being met. Coaches are sometimes also the G.M. There is someone in the building doing what needs to be done. They could take one of their scouts and name him G.M., even though his duties wouldn’t change one iota. I mean, look at a guy like Joe Douglas. He was just a scout a little while ago. Now he’s a G.M. I find it hard to believe that if he is capable of being a G.M. today, that he wasn’t capable a year or two ago. The G.M. title is way overrated. John Lynch is a G.M. There are lots of people in every front office that know more about being a G.M. than John Lynch, and I’m not saying that to pick on Lynch. Heck, the Texans could name their janitor as their new G.M. Either way, the coach is going to be making all the important decisions.

  20. He’s calling for a boycott because there was no affirmative action. It’s not enough to give “minority” candidates interviews that they didn’t earn. Even if you ONLY interview “minority” candidates, it’s still somehow not enough. They have to actually be given jobs that they don’t deserve.

  21. 5 Rate This
    harrisonhits2 says:
    June 15, 2019 at 3:16 pm
    “IMO hire the BEST candidate or don’t hire anyone…”

    The teams do exactly that, at least whoever they consider the best candidate is. The Rooney rule is to give interviewing experience to minorities that’s it, due to the massive white bias at the team management level throughout the league prior to that that allowed very few opportunities for minority candidates.

    I’m a 60 year old white guy and seeing people boo hooing at the horror of teams having to interview but not hire a minority candidate would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.
    ++++++++++++++
    How would you like it if there was an opportunity at your job for advancement. You worked hard and did everything you had to do to earn an interview then someone else is awarded an interview too because they were a minority.

  22. …or maybe none of the three men impressed the Texans enough to get hired. You don’t know that Mayhew or Farmer were shan interviews. It’s libelous for you to suggest you do.

  23. They’ve been scarred by their experience with Caserio. Mostly they just sit in the office with the lights off. Playing video games and having takeout food delivered. Often they don’t answer the phone. Their families are getting worried.

  24. not that I have followed all this super closely but have yet to see any thing on my pat sites that Caserio actually does want or wanted to leave to take the job with the Tex this year …. can anyone confirm this and provide a link if possible … or just all fake news and nobody actually knows for sure ??

  25. Of course they’re ‘sham’ interviews. The Texans know who they want to hire and they aren’t even interested in anyone else – especially none without ties to the Patriots philosophy of team building and evaluation.

    There are always going to be negative ramifications when the league tries implementing controversial, anti-autonomy and racist predicated hiring protocol. Unfortunately, it’s the rule so even though the Texans aren’t going to hire either one of those failed, former GM’s, but It’s embarrassing for Farmer and Mayhew having to be ‘good sports’ in agreeing to participate in these shams.

    The league needs to admit its mistake on the well intentioned Rooney Rule because of its obvious failure in doing anything of value, but also embarrassing minority’s on top of all this. It’s just an incredibly bad look for everyone. No one wins and it only makes everyone involved look bad.

    It’s also incredibly unconstitutional to have a rule favoring minority’s where a white GM or HC can interview only if minority’s have agreed to interview also, but a minority can be hired immediately, even if he was the only one to interview. That is racist. Equivalent to the NFL saying no black tailback’s, wide receiver’s, or cornerback’s can be hired until a white prospect has tried out and fully evaluated first before the black prospect can be given his contact offer.

    I am presenting facts, not anecdotes or hate. The league is 75% black majority and 25% white. Therefore, the white athlete are the overwhelming minority, yet I don’t see any ‘privilege’ for them in trying to land jobs at TB, CB, or WR. Everything is a byproduct of culture, not race. No one needs help to get anything they are trying to accomplish in life.

    So if the league insists on this highly offensive Rooney rule, they can accept the consequences that goes with it – the embarrassment of sham interviews!

    #CondemnTheRooneyRule

  26. @tonyeason11 –

    How about this? When the black candidates start complaining about getting consideration for jobs that they rarely received in the past, then we’ll pay attention. In the mean time, we’ll ignore white people like you who are offended on behalf of all of the white WRs who don’t get a fair shake LOL. That’s called false equivalence. Look it up. Thanks for understanding.

    Also, you don’t have to use apostrophes on every pluralized word…but you know that. You are obviously a very bright guy.

  27. I can’t wait until some team plays an entire season without a head coach…After interviewing five minority candidates.

  28. cheapseater says:
    June 15, 2019 at 9:39 pm
    @tonyeason11 –

    How about this? When the black candidates start complaining about getting consideration for jobs that they rarely received in the past, then we’ll pay attention. In the mean time, we’ll ignore white people like you who are offended on behalf of all of the white WRs who don’t get a fair shake LOL. That’s called false equivalence. Look it up. Thanks for understanding.

    Also, you don’t have to use apostrophes on every pluralized word…but you know that. You are obviously a very bright guy.

    Cheapseater,

    I appreciate it but I agree that the RBs, TBs, and do get a fair shake and that is ridiculous to think they don’t (just as qualified GMs and HCs get theirs as well) therefore, I am trying to show how ‘false equivalence’ can be taken in context of support to something that should be fair/consistent for both sides.

    I’ll be sure to tone down on the ‘s from now on. I hope you don’t spend too much time brushing up on everyone’s grammar who comment on this site – only because you’ll spend all day, everyday educating the uneducated! Correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t seem like the guy that has that much time on your hands.

  29. Gaine was fired because he was very passive in the free agent market. The Texans have been very satisfied with their drafts under Gaine, but they still have a scouting section of 23 people who are really the talent evaluators. The perception within the Houston media types seems to be that Gaine was intent on improving the team through the draft. After all, that’s the best way, right?
    Well, perhaps not. With a truly large amount of cap space, Gaine passed on a number of free agents that could have helped right away. I believe that didn’t sit well with McNair, O’Brien, the media or the fans.
    Note that although the Texans can’t contact Caserio, Caserio can certainly instruct his agent to tell the Texans he would be interested in 10 months. If the Texans don’t fill the GM spot in the next 4-5 months, it will be because they know Caserio is interested.

  30. It’s unlikely that the Texans knew about Caserio’s contract language. When the Texans previously tried to interview Caserio, the Patriots were still in the playoffs, and simply denied the Texans permission to interview Caserio, as allowed for in NFL rules. No need for the Patriots to cite contract language.
    These contracts aren’t available to other teams, and the Texans thus had no way of knowing about the no-interview provision until either the league or the Patriots informed them earlier this week. And it actually *would* have been a case of tampering had they talked to Caserio or his agent about Caserio’s current contract terms.
    Likewise, I don’t blame the Patriots for filing the tampering complaint. After all, Caserio was talking with the Texans’ Jack Easterby on Thursday, and the Texans fired Gaine on Friday. The Patriots were justifiably suspicious, and there’s really no way for an NFL team investigate another team’s action, other than to file such a complaint.
    In the end, if Caserio wants the Texans GM job (or some other GM position) he’ll be able to pursue it. Caserio can have the GM job with the Patriots, but he’ll have to wait until Belichick retires. Caserio may want to be the MFWIC before that.

  31. The problem with the average joe that knows nothing about business is you all don’t understand the value of interviewing. Interviewing can get your foot in the door and open up opportunities down the road even if it doesn’t lead to an immediate hire. This is why most of you will never accomplish anything because you fail to see the big picture.

  32. I have a friend available for Rooney Rule interviews. He charges 25K but lives in fear of being hired.

    Seriously, though, why not be a real Rooney Rule interviewee as a part-time job/career? You are paid well and get to enjoy first-class travel and be wined and dined in major cities.

  33. Caserio’s contract doesn’t expire until after the 2020 draft, which would leave the Texans in a tough spot for next year. Also, why should we assume that Caserio even wants the job? Why is managing an under-performing team with a sub-par coaching staff supposedly such a lucrative offer?

    The more plausible explanation is that the Texans are under the assumption that Caserio would take the job due to his familiarity with O’Brien and Easterby, though that assumption may only be a self-indulgent whim of those two employees.

    Arguably the Texans have a talented roster, and Caserio would not be coaching or playing, so what more could he offer that would change the fortunes of the team? Nick is very perceptive and I’m sure he sees this as a less-than-ideal opportunity.

    Or perhaps nobody wants to work with a “character coach” that goes around and tries to unethically pilfer employees from rival teams. Just a thought.

  34. We’re flouting about discussing several irrelevant topics when the answer is quite obvious. The Texans have a guy they want, and he’s not available. He will be when the next draft is over. Hiring a GM for one year is pointless, so they’ll hold out and wait for the long term option to become available. Discussing the effectiveness or need for the Rooney Rule is irrevelant if the team already has a preferred candidate in mind.

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