The Patriots could, in theory, pursue their defeat against the Texans with a level of zeal aimed at blowing up Houston's quest for Nick Caserio, forcing the Texans to look elsewhere for Brian Gaene's replacement. The patriots can instead use the league's procedures to force the Texans to pay a hard penalty to violate the rules of manipulation, if it can be proved.
Or the patriots and the Texans could simply look up a deal.
A source with knowledge of the dynamics and personalities involved in this struggle believes that in the end, an agreement will be reached for compensation, with the Texans giving the patriots a draft or two or something else and with Caserio the new GM of the Texans. The reason is simple: If Caserio wants to go and is forced to stay, it can be difficult for the patriots.
And if Caserio wants to go, it means that his relationship with coach Bill Belichick has essentially been broken, and that Caserio doesn't prefer to try to fix it. If in the end G.M. jobs are closer to G.M. Light than true G.M. status, he really does not leave anything else but instead of something else. And that something else will be a football operation that has a long way to go to be as successful as the patriots have been.
If a deal meets quickly, it will hang on if the Texans are willing to give the patriots whatever they are willing to take for Caserio. It may take some time, so the manipulation case can play a little, with New England putting some of the his card on the table, but it should not take much time, because the Texans need to hire a GM earlier than later.