The New England Patriots made a big move on Wednesday afternoon to keep one of their key free agents.
That's right, Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio is staying in New England.
According to reports confirmed by our own Phil Perry, Caserio will be returning to the Patriots after agreeing to a contract extension. His deal was set to expire after the 2020 NFL Draft, but his new contract is expected to be a multi-year pact.
There had been previous rumblings that the Houston Texans had an interest in hiring Caserio. But after they promoted Bill O'Brien to full-time coach/GM, that possibility evaporated. And Caserio has returned.
Of course, Caserio isn't the No. 1 target that Patriots fans are focusing on this offseason. That would surely be Tom Brady, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 20-year career.
Nonetheless, retaining Caserio seems like a positive move. He has been with the Patriots for 19 years and since his 2008 promotion to Director of Player Personnel, he has been Bill Belichick's right-hand man.
And as Tom E. Curran said Wednesday on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition: "[Caserio] is more valuable to the New England Patriots with all the hats he wears than he is to anybody else."
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Bert Breer of Sports Illustrated's MMQB agreed with Curran's assessment and also provided additional details on why retaining Caserio was so important for the Patriots.
"This is a big win for the Patriots because if you look at where they were from a front office perspective, [Caserio] is not the only guy who was up [for a new deal]," Breer said. "Monti Ossenfort, the college scouting director, is also up after the draft this year. They stood to lose two of the top three personnel guys in the building. That's a major amount of turnover."
But by keeping Caserio, they avoid that turnover. And now, they will retain the continuity that many NFL teams strive for but so few achieve.