Kansas City Chiefs Fire GM Scott Pioli

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 4, 2013

The Kansas City Chiefs continued to make sweeping changes on Friday, this time to the front office. General manager Scott Pioli has been fired, as the sides mutually agreed to part ways.

UPDATE: Friday, December 4, at 11:20 AM EST by Sam Westmoreland

The changing of the guard has begun in Kansas City, as Andy Reid will be named the team's new head coach, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen

Andy Reid and the Chiefs have reached an agreement. Lawyers reviewing contract. Added to ESPN story along with @adamschefter

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 4, 2013

This seems to further confirm the idea that Reid and former Browns executive Tom Heckert were a package deal, which probably prompted Pioli's dismissal today by the Chiefs. While Heckert hasn't been named the team's general manager, it would seem that Pioli's departure and Reid's hiring were related.

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The Chiefs' website released an official statement regarding Pioli's departure, which quoted team chairman and CEO Clark Hunt:

After several productive conversations, we made the difficult decision to part ways with Scott Pioli and allow him to pursue other opportunities. Scott has been an invaluable member of the Chiefs family since joining us in 2009, and we sincerely appreciate his tremendous contributions over the last four years.

I know that this was a difficult decision for Scott as well. He has a great deal of appreciation for the history of this franchise, for our players, coaches and employees, and especially our great fans.

There is no way to overstate the level of respect and admiration I have for Scott on a personal level. His character, loyalty, integrity and commitment to a team are extraordinary, and throughout the last four years, he has consistently put the best interests of the Chiefs ahead of his own. I know he will go on to enjoy further success in the National Football League, and I certainly wish him the best in the future.

The former New England Patriots personnel guru has been with the Chiefs since 2009, but with his former Pats comrade Romeo Crennel being dismissed as head coach on Black Monday, Pioli's days seemed numbered.

ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed the news on Twitter:

Scott Pioli out in KC.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2013

Speculation is rife that Andy Reid will become the next head coach in Kansas City, according to a report compiled by Schefter and his colleague Chris Mortensen.

With that being the case, Reid would command more control over the roster than Pioli's contract would have allowed. Letting Pioli go makes it seem as though Reid's hiring is all the more inevitable.

Pioli couldn't quite duplicate the success he had in New England with the Chiefs. KC won an AFC West division title in 2010, only to be blown out in the first round of the playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens, 30-7 at home.

There is definite talent on the Chiefs' young roster, but Pioli's downfall and ultimate lack of success may have been due to the quarterback position. A heavy investment in former Pats QB Matt Cassel resulted in one strong year, but the other three weren't up to snuff.

The winds of change are definitely blowing in the organization, and it will be interesting to see which direction Kansas City goes from here—especially with Pioli's successor possessing the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft.