Getty Images

The Houston Texans made a serious attempt to hire Patriots executive Nick Caserio prior to the 2019 season and could very well do again in 2021, league sources said. Their previous pursuit was scuttled by New England's threat of a drawn-out tampering investigation, but that is no longer a concern.

Caserio signed a two-year extension with the Patriots in the offseason, with the market for general manager jobs stagnant, but sources said the language in that deal would negate any future attempts to prevent him from pursuing any general manager opportunities prior to its expiration.

Texans owner Cal McNair remains high on Caserio, sources said, and while he is using a search firm to assist in his hire of a general manager, the ultimate decision would be his.

Caserio, who has spent his entire career in New England while rising to become Bill Belichick's top personnel man, had interest in the Texans job when they reached out to him, sources said, although there were some concerns about the toxicity in that building with coach Bill O'Brien continuing to gain power over personnel decisions and having a close bond with McNair at the time. That is obviously no longer an issue after O'Brien was fired last week and with the Texans now in the market for a new coach and GM in 2021.