Pioli Beyond Chiefs' Reach?

Chris McGrath - Getty

With more head coaching firings on Black Monday in New York and Detroit, the Kansas City Chiefs have already begun their search for a replacement for outgoing General Manager Carl Peterson. The top guy on the market, New England Patriots V.P. of Player Personnel Scott Pioli, has let it be known what he wants and teams will need to act fast to sign him. We have the latest on the Pioli sweepstakes.

Sunday afternoon the Chiefs regular season ended and now Chairman of the Board Clark Hunt is lining up his interviews to find a new GM. Rumors have already been swirling that Hunt, who did not fly back with the Chiefs' charter on Sunday, has begun the interview process. An internet report from last week stated that he's already interviewed at least one candidate.

The hottest name right now is Scott Pioli, who is wavering on his decision to leave New England. He's never been keen on accepting offers from other teams and has turned down several opportunities over the last three years. So where does he stand with the Chiefs?

Apparently, Kansas City is not high on his list of places to jump to, according to a well-placed NFL source. Per that source, Pioli is asking for complete control of Football Operations, from scouting, to coaching to player personnel.

That won't be an issue for Clark Hunt, but it appears that Pioli has eyes for only one job and it's not in Kansas City.

Per our source, Pioli has a strong interest in the Cleveland Browns because he believes that's the best place for his talents. However, the problem is that Browns owner Randy Lerner, who fired both General Manager Phil Savage and Head Coach Romeo Crennel in the last 12 hours, has a lot of people bending his ear in regards to the direction this football team.

Pioli will have no part of that, and if Lerner wants to get him in the fold, he'll have to do it quickly. According to our source, Pioli wants an offer or substantial talks in the next 24 - 48 hours or he may withdraw his name from consideration as early as Tuesday.

He does not want this to drag the process out. With his Patriots missing the playoffs at 11-5, he's in no mood to mess around.

So it appears the top guy might be out of reach for the Chiefs, though we believe that Pioli, as a courtesy to Jonathan Kraft, the son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a close friend of Clark Hunt's, would at least take a phone call from Hunt.

That might be the best and only move Hunt can make if he wants a long interview with Pioli so he can sell him on the merits of coming to Kansas City.

The other issue at hand for whoever hires Pioli is that he wants Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as his head coach. The problem is that McDaniels is only 32, and young NFL head coaches haven't fared well in recent years.

Lane Kiffin couldn't handle it in Oakland and Eric Mangini had the same troubles in New York with the Jets. If Hunt jettisons Herm Edwards, he needs to find a GM who has ties to the best available head coaching candidates. Youth might not be the best course of action.

So that issue alone, and the fact Pioli really only has eyes for Cleveland, likely puts him out of KC's reach. At least for the moment.

In Other Chiefs News:

Marty Schottenheimer - His name has surfaced as someone who might become a possible consultant for the Chiefs, but we're told that's unlikely. With the firing of Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini, our NFL source tells us Schottenheimer could be a candidate for the job in New York. His son, Brian, is the offensive coordinator and that combination likely will keep quarterback Brett Favre around for one more season.

Larry Johnson - There is little doubt that Larry Johnson won't be back with the Chiefs in 2009 regardless of who the head coach or general manager might be. Johnson told the media he's tired of Kansas City and the city is tired of his antics as well. The big issue facing the Chiefs in regards to LJ is the fact if he's convicted on both of his alleged off the field charges, he could lose up to $5 million of his $19 million signing bonus. Regardless, the Chiefs will try to snag any draft pick they can for him prior to April. If a trade doesn't go down, they may cut him to save cap space.

Tony Gonzalez - Don't take too much stock in the fact the tight end was offering his support for Tyler Thigpen, Herm Edwards and Chan Gailey to return next season. Gonzalez may not get his wish on two of those three demands or any of them, but I expect Gonzalez to remain with the Chiefs. If not, it's quite likely his play this year could net the team a top draft choice in round one or two next year. My gut tells me he'll retire a Chief.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Recommended Stories