Houston Texans General Manager Nick Caserio addressed the media from the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday. Afterwards, he also held an informal Q&A session with members of the local media.
Here are six things we learned from Caserio at the Combine:
In his first few weeks as head coach, Lovie Smith has been busy putting together his coaching staff. This week will be about gathering information about prospects for the coaches, Caserio said.
"Just trying to get as much information, let's say the group that probably is most pressing are the underclassmen because this is really the first opportunity to spend extensively with them face-to-face," Caserio said. "A lot of them that weren't at an All-Star game."
Caserio discussed the possibility of trading the No. 3 overall draft pick but said a move this week would be unlikely.
"I think speaking specifically to this week, I don't think there's anything that happens or takes place here relative to what players do on or off the field or what happens in a 20-minute interview is going to change," Caserio said. "You know what your philosophy on it, on moving back or making trades or those types of things."
The Texans do, however, remain "open-minded" and "pretty flexible" to making a trade up or down and will explore all venues, according to Caserio.
Running back is a position that the Texans will be evaluating this offseason. Houston extended veteran Rex Burkhead at the end of the 2021 season, but David Johnson and Royce Freeman will both become free agents in March.
"We only have three players under contract currently Rex (Burkhead) is one, Scottie Phillips and Darius Anderson, who signed as a reserve future player after the season. So it's probably a position that we'll kind of evaluate here during the offseason, how we build it out."
On the pending Deshaun Watson legal situation, Caserio said the team was taking it "day-by-day."
"Once the information becomes more relevant or prevalent then we'll handle accordingly," Caserio said. "I mean, my philosophy from the beginning has always been to do the right thing by the Houston Texans organization. We're going to continue to do that here moving forward."
One year after taking over as general manager, Caserio says the Texans have improved their salary cap situation.
"Yeah, I'd say cap wise, we're a little bit better situation than we were than the start of last offseason," Caserio said. "So I think we're honestly middle-of-the-league right now just before we do anything. You can create cap space many different ways so you want to have some manageable amount. Let's say your cap situation was also going to dictate kind of the pool of players that you're going to maybe have an opportunity to add to your roster during free agency."
In the local media portion, Caserio also commented on DB Justin Reid's status. The fifth-year DB will become a free agent in March.
"I've talked to his representatives, we've had some dialogue certainly open to bringing Justin back," Caserio said. "Justin is a good player, well thought of in the league. I know he has a lot of respect for Lovie, had an opportunity to play in this system. I think more than anything, he has had a lot of change over his career. If he has an opportunity to come back in here, it's another year and the same system. So again, I mean, free agency is free agency. The market will ultimately dictate kind of where players fit and how they fall."