Over the past couple of days, we’ve heard from plenty of people (including Ben Volin himself) regarding Volin’s report that Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio wants out of New England.
Volin, in response to fan and media reaction to the claim that Caserio is ready to leave the Patriots, characterized the article as an opinion, not a report. We didn’t change our item on the subject, because the headline and the body of the story at the Boston Globe website made it clear that this was something much stronger than one person’s opinion.
Apparently, it was.
Appearing on WEEI in Boston on Wednesday, Volin explained that his contention that Caserio wants out is a report, not an opinion.
“[Y]es, sure, it’s a report. It’s analysis,” Volin said. “We do this all the time. As you guys mentioned, if it was a positive story, no one would care.”
Because the story was negative, the reaction was strong in some circles.
“In this case of Nick Caserio, the facts speak for themselves,” Volin said. “If he didn’t want to go to Houston, the Patriots would not have had to jump through all those hoops, file tampering charges, enforce his contract. It’s very clear that Nick Caserio wanted this job and would have taken this job if it were allowed to him. And then on top of it, look, I’ve been reporting on this team for six-and-a-half years. It’s not like I walked into this situation in a vacuum. I know stuff, I talk to people. You mentioned it earlier, I broke the Jack Easterby [leaving the team] story earlier this offseason. I know people want to pretend like I’m hated in Foxboro and no one talks to me, but unfortunately that’s not the case. I do have some inside knowledge on the situation.”
Volin’s logic is accurate. Indeed, on many occasions when a team denies permission to another team to interview an executive and the issue ends at that point, it happens because the executive doesn’t want to leave but that the executive doesn’t want to develop a reputation for rejecting opportunities. Caserio clearly wasn’t rejecting his latest opportunity, forcing the Patriots to mobilize in order to keep him in place.
None of this means that Caserio destined to leave. With his contract expiring after the 2020 draft, Caserio still could strike a deal to remain in New England. In theory. Regardless, Volin was right about Caserio wanting out. Volin’s only mistake was to backtrack in the face of the inevitable blowback.