Patriots: Possible Nick Caserio replacement could get poached by Broncos
By Jerry Trotta
The Patriots’ in-house replacement for director of player personnel Nick Caserio could leave for Denver.
It was always expected that the New England Patriots’ front office and coaching staff would undergo relatively significant changes this offseason, but we’re not so sure anybody predicted that it would happen this quickly.
Just days after their regular season finale, director of player personnel Nick Caserio was hired as the new GM of the Houston Texans. He had long been rumored as a general manager candidate in the past, so once he was permitted to take interviews with other organizations, it was almost set in stone that he would leave.
Because of that, you have to think the Patriots instituted a contingency plan and who better to replace Caserio than assistant director of player personnel Dave Ziegler? Well, reports indicated that they were kicking the tires on naming Ziegler as his direct replacement.
However, that seemingly simple in-house promotion has become extremely complicated as the Denver Broncos have requested permission to interview him for their general manager job.
This obviously doesn’t confirm that Ziegler will take the job, but if Denver offers him a similar deal to that of what Caserio received from Houston — a six-year deal with a base value of $30 million that can max out at $36 million, making him one of the three highest-paid GMs in the NFL — we’d be stunned if he didn’t accept their offer.
On top of that, Ziegler could potentially be easily swayed by the Broncos as he spent three years in their scouting department before joining the Patriots. The longtime executive has been with the Pats for eight seasons, coming off his first year as assistant director of player personnel. Prior to that, he held the director of pro personnel title for four seasons and spent three seasons as their assistant director of pro scouting.
With that experience in mind, Ziegler is more than qualified to step in and fill Caserio’s shoes as director of player personnel. However, this interview request from Denver has really complicated what was shaping up to be a relatively effortless internal promotion.
It remains to be seen if the Broncos want to drag out their interview process, so Patriots fans should stay tuned for updates. After all, as we saw with Caserio’s departure, these sorts of hires can move fast if a team falls in love with a candidate.