The Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans and the league opened an investigation, according to multiple reports Wednesday, regarding Houston’s attempts to hire New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio as its new general manager.

The Texans fired former GM Brian Gaine on Friday, 17 months after giving him a five-year contract and one day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl ring ceremony. According to multiple reports, new Texans executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby — the Patriots’ former team chaplain — was at Thursday’s ring ceremony, as was Caserio.

Asked Tuesday if he or Easterby had contact with Caserio or his representatives before Gaine’s firing, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters, “I would say that the answer to that is no relative to contact about anything having to do with the Houston Texans. No.”

The Texans have formally requested permission to interview Caserio, just as they did in January of 2018, when the Patriots denied the request and the Texans moved on to hire Gaine.

Caserio, 43, has held his position since 2008 as the top personnel man for Bill Belichick, who has final authority on personnel decisions. He is also close with O’Brien, who coached in New England from 2007 to 2011.

Caserio has turned down numerous overtures for GM jobs in the past, though he was allowed to interview with the Miami Dolphins in 2014. He is widely considered the favorite for the Texans’ job if he is interested.

Houston has reportedly interviewed San Francisco 49ers vice president of player personnel Martin Mayhew — the former Detroit Lions GM — and former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer for the opening.