The former Chiefs general manager was hired four years ago to help lift the franchise from the ground. But Pioli did little lifting and limited the Chiefs with their progress. The complete opposite was expected after all of the work Pioli did for the New England Patriots.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft described Pioli as a "great evaluator of talent." The Patriots won three Super Bowls in a four-year span. The Patriots also shattered multiple records in 2007 after finishing with a 16-0 regular-season record.
Chiefs fans were ecstatic that Pioli was hired as the new general manager. Pioli played a big role in New England's success and fans were excited to see him carry over his success to Kansas City.
That never happened.
Since his first draft as a Chiefs general manager, there was a lot of criticism surrounding Pioli and whether or not he was doing his job well.
Pioli drafted defensive end Tyson Jackson with the third overall pick, a selection that has made little impact for the Chiefs.
Later that offseason, Pioli inked quarterback Matt Cassel, after acquiring him—and linebacker Mike Vrabel—from a trade with the Patriots, to a six-year deal worth $63 million. After Tom Brady suffered a season-ending injury in the 2008 season opener against the Chiefs, Cassel stepped in with a stacked Patriots offense before him. Just about any quarterback could have done what Cassel did, in which he led the team to an 11-5 record and threw for 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Cassel had 27 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in 2010, but it was his only successful year with the Chiefs. He led the team to an 18-28 record as a starter and couldn't suit up for a full season in his four years with the Chiefs.
Pioli was heavily active in the 2010 offseason when he recruited offensive linemen Ryan Lilja and Casey Wiegmann. Pioli also signed running back Thomas Jones, which helped the Chiefs form the best rushing team in 2010. Along with the addition of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, the Chiefs scored high in the draft as many rookies made an impact to help the Chiefs win the AFC West in 2010.
But outside of 2010, the Chiefs declined. Pioli made little or no effort to help the Chiefs prior to the 2011 and 2012 offseasons. His draft selections are questionable and Pioli's only attempt to ever address the quarterback position was to offer Peyton Manning a contract, and Manning had no interest in joining the Chiefs.
Some of the players who were already on the team before Pioli's arrival flourished during his time here in Kansas City. But this year's Pro Bowl voting is evidence that Pioli has not brought in many players to help make an impact on the team. Among the five Chiefs Pro Bowlers, only one was drafted or signed by Pioli.
With everything Pioli accomplished in the past, Kansas City was projected to become a force to be reckoned with in the NFL. When it came to being an evaluator of talent in Kansas City, Pioli was bad. It is hard to figure out why things went wrong for him in Kansas City.
The fact is, he couldn't get the job done when he was expected to. Four years ago, Pioli was thought of as someone who could save the Chiefs and turn them around. Four years later, he is no longer employed with the Chiefs and should be labeled as the most disappointing figure in franchise history.
The Chiefs have already moved on and Clark Hunt has learned from his past as he continues his father's legacy. All he can do is continue his offseason work and hope that the results turn out differently this time.
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