Off Day Mailbag: Is Nick Caserio situation strange?

WEEI
January 16, 2020 - 2:52 pm
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Welcome to the Off Day Mailbag where Andy Hart and Ryan Hannable answer questions from Patriots fans across the world.

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This will be a regular feature throughout the Patriots' offseason.

Be on the lookout for @OffDayPod seeking questions each and every week.

Is it strange that Houston wanted Caserio last summer, but reports suggest they are not interested this year? (@jdnaik)

I actually don’t think it’s weird at all. Last summer Caserio would have been hired to work with Bill O’Brien. When things fell through, O’Brien essentially took over the GM role and very much put his stamp on the team. Why would he want to give up any control/power now? By all accounts O’Brien runs the show these days in Houston. He’s basically taken over full control of the franchise. Caserio would never go there to be an underling and O’Brien has no reason to give up any of his new-found power at this point.

-- Andy Hart

With McDaniels back, are the odds of Brady coming back higher? And if so, by how much?! (@micha2334)

Well, it certainly doesn't make the odds any lower. McDaniels and Brady have worked together for so long that the quarterback knows exactly what he is getting. If there was someone brand new, there would be some question as to how things would go and could create more work on his part in getting to know whoever it was. Brady has said in recent years he wants to spend more time with his family during the offseason, so how would it work with getting to know and become familiar with a new offensive coordinator and play-caller? If this happened, it likely would have decreased his chances of coming back. So, whether it is one percent or 20 percent, McDaniels coming back definitely increases the chances of Brady coming back.

-- Ryan Hannable

Do the Patriots have a legit shot at landing Thaddeus Moss??? Would be special (@Ryong901)

New England absolutely has a shot at Moss, the son of former Patriots star receiver Randy Moss. He is a junior and has not yet even declared for the draft, which is no certainty given that many see him as a late-round prospect even after a solid season with a  nice finish for LSU.

--Andy Hart

Do you want Brady back?  Or tear it down and rebuild? (@jdnaik)

I do, but at the right price -- and that is where it gets tricky. How much of your salary cap do you want to devote to the quarterback position, and a 43-year-old at that? If Brady comes back, it likely is going to be at a price less than what he wants, but if all things were equal it's pretty obvious his choice would be to stay in New England. It also needs to happen before March 18 because if he's not signed by then, Brady's dead cap money in 2020 is $13.5 million. If he's signed before then, it's only $6.75 million for 2020. Spit-balling, the Patriots could offer Brady a deal worth $18-20 million in 2020, meaning his cap hit would be between $24-26 million, which seems manageable and is respectable. Not sure what tear it down and rebuild means because even if Brady leaves, it's not like it would free up a ton of money because of the dead money.
 
-- Ryan Hannable

Assuming Brady comes back what position outside of tight end and offensive lineman do we need to fill. Also, do you think the Pats should bring in a defensive coordinator from the outside? (@joelshapiro20)

Certainly tight end could be seen as New England’s biggest need if Brady returns for a 21st season. New England got almost nothing out of the position this past fall. The line is also an issue assuming that Joe Thuney cashes in elsewhere as a free agent. There also could be long-term questions about both David Andrews (health) and Marcus Cannon (performance/contract). Beyond those two spots, wide receiver very much remains a position of need for the short and long term. Defensively a lot of the positions depend on which veterans the Patriots retain. If Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins both leave, linebacker is an obvious need. If Devin McCourty leaves, safety becomes a major need, especially alongside an aging Patrick Chung. In regards to defensive coordinator, I don’t see any way New England would bring someone in from the outside at this point. They are coming off a year in which Bill Belichick, Steve Belichick and Jerod Mayo oversaw the unit on the way to very impressive success. If ever there was a year to bring in someone from the outside – as they team tried to do with Greg Schiano – it was last year. Now there feels like there is far more stability and a bright future on the defensive coaching staff after massive turnover in 2019.

-- Andy Hart

Related: Tedy Bruschi on OMF predicts Tom Brady is back in New England in 2020