Houston's search for a new general manager has hit a legal snag.

The New England Patriots have filed tampering charges against the Texans related to their attempted GM hire of Pats director of player personnel Nick Caserio, a source told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. ESPN first reported the news.

The NFL's definition of tampering reads as follows: "The term tampering, as used within the National Football League, refers to any interference by a member club with the employer-employee relationship of another club or any attempt by a club to impermissibly induce a person to seek employment with that club or with the NFL."

Houston's firing of general manager Brian Gaine on June 7, one day after New England's Super Bowl ring ceremony, "set off some alarm bells" at Patriots Place, Rapoport added.

The focus of the tampering charges might be Jack Easterby, a former Patriots development director who was hired this offseason as Texans EVP of team development, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported. Easterby was in attendance at New England's ring ceremony on Thursday night, one day before Gaine's ouster.