Award Season Ignoring Special Offseason by Texans
The Houston Texans have already picked up plenty of accolades, but one was ignored
The Houston Texans have had plenty of awards bestowed upon them this offseason. DeMeco Ryans won the Pro Football Writers of America Coach of the Year Award. C.J. Stroud won the PFWA Rookie of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year. Will Anderson took home the PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Those three and offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik are AP Award Finalists.
A PFWA Executive of the Year Award for Nick Caserio will be absent from the trophy case.
The general manager of the Texans was snubbed as Brad Holmes of the Lions took home the prestigious honor.
Let’s take a look at what Caserio did this past year and what he’s working with as he tries to earn another nomination in a year, and hopefully the award itself.
It’s curious how the general manager who drafted the two rookie award winners didn’t win his own award.
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C.J. Stroud was phenomenal at quarterback and has galvanized the organization. The trade for Will Anderson was heavily criticized but turned out about as well as it could have with how he played and where the draft picks landed.
Tank Dell was one of the best rookie wideouts and finished eighth in rookie receiving yards despite not playing most of the season. Juice Scruggs handled the left guard spot well after he got healthy. Jarrett Patterson had the center spot taken care of before his injury. Henry To’oTo’o was a depth piece as was Xavier Hutchinson.
The Texans have eight selections in the 2024 NFL Draft with three of them falling in the top 86. Caserio hasn’t been a stranger to moving around on draft day, he’s gone up or down in almost every round it seems. The rookie class and what the Texans might be interested in will be clearer after free agency.
The drafted successes for Caserio were on their best display this season with his rookies and the emergence of Nico Collins and Derek Stingley.
Free Agency Success
Caserio had a wildly successful free agent class this past year.
Dalton Schultz was 12th in receiving yards among tight ends and became a favorite target for the team’s rookie quarterback. Sheldon Rankins was a solid player in the middle of the defensive line and took over the game in Cincinnati against the Bengals.
Devin Singletary was a key backup finishing with the team lead in rushing yards and just outside the top-20 this season. Denzel Perryman, Case Keenum, and Noah Brown all had flashes of brilliance. George Fant, signed after training camp started, was the starting right tackle for most of the season.
There was also the midseason addition of Derek Barnett who played well down the stretch when the starters at defensive end were dealing with a rash of injuries.
Caserio is faced with a load of key players from this season becoming free agents. He’s also armed with some of the most cap space in all of football.
It will be interesting to see if his bargain-hunting tactics pay off again and if there is a significant investment from a money and length standpoint. There aren’t any free agents the team can’t chase, and most positions could use an influx of high-priced talent who are premium performers.
Keep on Cooking Caserio
Sometimes the award Caserio lost lags a season. The recognition takes time to arrive in the brains of the voters.
For the Texans, Caserio putting together another buzz-worthy year would thrust them to new heights.
Think about a year from now if Caserio is again a candidate for this award. It would be he spent wisely in free agency and it paid off. It would also mean he, DeMeco Ryans, and the rest of the staff hit on another draft class.
Imagine the Texans adding a few more talented players to the starting lineup and being even deeper than last season. That’s a top three in the AFC contender.
The start to his general manager tenure was slow and marred with unforeseen challenges, but as Caserio has settled in he’s started to showcase the abilities that made him one of the most sought-after candidates in football for years.
If he keeps it up, the chances of adding a Lombardi to the trophy cases at NRG Stadium go through the roof.