(image via Patriots.com)
If Jed York hires New England’s Nick Caserio, it will show he’s reformed his decision-making as the acting owner of the 49ers.
While many see Caserio as a leading candidate for the GM opening, don’t exactly bank on San Francisco to pull the trigger on this hire.
A source indicated it would be surprising around league circles if York decided to go with Caserio, because it would neuter Paraag Marathe — who is both York’s top advisor and the 49ers resident salary cap guru.
Caserio has built his reputation as a master negotiator and a salary cap expert. Bill Belichick has final say on the roster, but Caserio is the one who ultimately manages the money aspect of it. And he’s one of the best in the NFL at it.
A year after being demoted, Marathe has found himself back on the centerstage with York. Marathe will be in the room for all of the upcoming interviews, presumably asking questions, too. The 49ers reportedly will have the second most cap room in the NFL this offseason.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald dropped these details on Caserio’s role with the Patriots:
Last offseason when the Patriots courted restricted free agent Chris Hogan, Belichick’s sit-down with the wide receiver never touched on money. When they parted, Belichick affirmed to Hogan that Caserio would ensure the deal would be executed, and they struck a creative three-year, $12 million pact.
Holding his role as Director of Player Personnel since 2008, Caserio has turned down other interview requests throughout the years. It says something that he wants to meet with the 49ers.
And the 41-year-old might be okay keeping Marathe underneath him as an advisor on contract negotiations. But the more likely scenario is that if he were to leave New England, he’ll want total control of both the roster and the salary cap. That wouldn’t sit well Marathe.
There could be plenty of other GM candidates who would be willing to focus more of their energy on personnel and let Marathe take the lead on negotiations. There are many other strong candidates too — Louis Riddick, Eliot Wolf, Trent Kirchner.
If York eliminates Caserio from contention, Marathe will be a chief reason why. Caserio could also turn down the offer if York doesn’t budge on Marathe’s role.
If York ends up hiring Caserio, it’ll show he’s willing to make things a little uncomfortable to try and win football games. That would be a huge step in the right direction for him.