The New England Patriots initially blocked the Houston Texans from interviewing Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio in January of 2018. The Patriots then filed tampering charges against the Texans days after their 2019 Super Bowl ring ceremony when Houston unexpectedly fired General Manager Brian Gaine and began pursuit of Caserio. Texans Executive Vice President of Team Development Jack Easterby -- a former Patriots employee -- had attended the aforementioned ring ceremony along with Caserio.

After their failed attempts, Houston decided they would meander their way through the 2019 season without a general manager. Many believed that they were waiting for the following offseason when Caserio's contract expired. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the AFC South franchise intends to continue into 2020 and beyond with their current structure. 

Head coach Bill O'Brien has final say on decisions made with Easterby also having his voice heard. The pairing has led to an unconventional way to build an organization. The Texans went on a trade spree when they parted with pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney and acquired offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills, running back Duke Johnson Jr. and cornerback Gareon Conley in separate deals. The deal for Tunsil included an almost unprecedented two first round picks. 

Houston sits atop the AFC South with a 7-4 record, which is tied for the fourth best in the conference. They have a full game lead over the Colts and Titans entering Sunday's Week 13 play. The Sunday Night Football matchup features the Texans at NRG Stadium against those same Patriots.