We were all surprised when New England Patriots director of pro personnel Nick Caserio decided to interview with the Miami Dolphins for the GM gig on Friday, but the move was initially seen as just speculative interest on Caserio’s part. After all, he’s stayed with the Patriots for his entire career, and his rise in the front office under Bill Belichick has been meteoric. Caserio is also seen as someone who is fiercely loyal to the Patriots organization, so it was incredibly interesting to see him take a second interview with the Dolphin yesterday. At that point, Caserio looked like a fully legitimate candidate for the Dolphins gig instead of a rival exec with minor interest, and there’s no doubt that the Dolphins were very interested in poaching a rival exec, especially one as talented as Caserio.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Dolphins offered their GM vacancy to Caserio, but he decided to stay with the Patriots after all. His decision to stay doesn’t come as a surprise, since the milk isn’t fresher with the Dolphins organization despite the tantalizing opportunity to run an organization with some talent as GM. The organizational culture in New England is much healthier, and Caserio is so talented that he would be unlikely to bolt to just any team. And hey, there’s always the chance that he was just looking to scare the Patriots into a bigger paycheck by saying, “Look, teams want me as a GM.” Then again, I’m sure Caserio also knows that leveraging yourself against Belichick and the Pats is a sure way to leave.
Overall, the Dolphins GM search is a weird and interesting one, and there’s probably going to be more twists and turns along the way. For now, it looks like the top candidate is Tennessee Titans exec Lake Dawson, who would also be an excellent hire for the ‘Fins and cause their fans to forgive Stephen Ross for what is being viewed as a butchered process.