Pioli, the rookie Kansas City general manager, has the distinction in this decade of being part of...
Pioli, the rookie Kansas City general manager, has the distinction in this decade of being part of the tradingest draft-day team in the league. Between 2000 and 2008, the Patriots draft room, run by coach Bill Belichick and Pioli, made 28 draft-weekend trades. The Pats traded up 12 times, but more significantly, they traded down 16 times.
In the last 10 days, I've spent hours (only my cell phone company knows how many for sure) foraging for crumbs for my Sports Illustrated mock, in your mailboxes Wednesday and Thursday. And the one thing I've heard on most calls is, "Well, you know Pioli wants to get out of his pick. He wants to trade down.''
It's true. He does want out. There's not a player Kansas City believes is worth third-pick-in-the-first-round money. Do you remember what the third pick got last year? Matt Ryan, the Atlanta quarterback, signed a six-year, $72 million deal, with $34.8 million guaranteed. Pioli can argue until he's Chiefs-crimson in the face, but his pick at three is going to fetch the player $11 million a year, minimum, regardless of position. Pioli's not picking a quarterback, so there's no chance a player at three will be worth that money. My feeling is Pioli woke up this morning with an itchy trigger finger.