The Patriots' tampering case against the Texans will focus on the timing of general manager Brian Gaine's firing.
On Wednesday, the Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans over their pursuit of New England VP of player personnel Nick Caserio. Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reports that the Patriots case will focus on the timing of the events surrounding the alleged tampering.
The Texans fired general manager Brian Gaine last week. Caserio, who has been New England's director of player personnel since 2008, became Houston's leading target for new Texans EVP of team development Jack Easterby, who was hired April 2 after he left the Patriots. Easterby is close with Caserio, played a role in Gaine's ouster and is close with Texans coach Bill O'Brien.
According to Breer, the night before Gaine was fired, Easterby attended the Patriots' ring ceremony at New England owner Robert Kraft's home. The Texans put in a request to interview Caserio shortly after Gaine was fired. Houston has interviewed two candidates but has not talked to anyone since Sunday.
Breer reports the Patriots' case will be built on the timing since Easterby and Caserio were together less than 24 hours before Gaine was fired and then Houston wanted to interview him so quickly. The two were also seen talking to each other at the ring ceremony.
On Thursday, it was revealed that a former Texans employee filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that Gaine targeted African-American employees for termination through his tenure. The Texans said Gaine's dismissal was not related to the complaint.
Houston finished in first place in the AFC South win an 11-5 record.