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Chiefs owner Clark Hunt’s explanation for the timing around John Dorsey’s firing

Now that we’ve had a day to digest Clark Hunt’s Monday press conference I want to go back and look at a few of his more interesting statements regarding the departure of John Dorsey. The Chiefs haven’t given any specific explanations on what happened but Clark hinted at a few general things.

I’ll just pluck out a few of the quotes that caught my eye.

Regarding the timing of Dorsey’s firing, Clark said changing GMs that late in the offseason wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“As I mentioned earlier there were a number of issues that popped up during the spring that caused me to want to make the evaluation, and I felt that it was prudent to wait until after the draft to do so,” Clark said via quotes from the Chiefs. “Obviously, you don’t want a shake up during the draft, and so that’s really what led to the timing. Frankly, once I got into the interview process I had a number of candidates tell me that this time of year is actually much better for them and had they been hired they felt they would’ve had a better chance to help us next year in the draft and also in free agency because they would’ve had nine to ten months to prepare for it.”

More on this evaluation:

“In the course of that evaluation you learn things that maybe you weren’t aware of a year or two ago that factored into the decision.”

The timing of it made it seem like the Chiefs were in disarray. Clark was asked if the Chiefs had a mess on their hands with all the people leaving the front office lately. In addition to Dorsey, the Chiefs lost a cap guy (Trip MacCracken) and another scouting guy (Will Lewis).

I don’t know that we had a mess on our hands,” Clark said. “We just had a situation where I felt that we needed to get better. As you know the NFL is a very, very competitive business and in order to build a championship team you have to have a personnel department that’s operating at a very high level.”

Reid and Dorsey both reported to Clark individually. Clark mentioned the great job Reid had done on a couple of occasions.

“The job that Andy and his coaching staff have done for the last four and half years has been tremendous, and I would say John did a very good job for us. But I had concerns about our ability to sustain the success that we have had and that’s really what led to the decision to make a change.”

Regarding the Jeremy Maclin release, which is popular speculation for Dorsey’s firing, Clark seemed to back Dorsey and indicate that maybe the voicemail story wasn’t quite accurate.

“I know what has been reported publically (about Maclin’s release),” Clark said. “I’m not sure that’s actually what happened, so I’m going to stay away from answering that question.”

Another popular theory is that Reid pushed Dorsey out, which Clark (and Reid) shot down.

“I informed Andy of the decision on the day that I let John go,” Clark said. “Andy obviously knew that we would be announcing his extension that day. In both cases I knew that I needed to extend their contracts because they both had about six or seven months to run, and that also played into the timing.”

Clark said that he and Dorsey did not have any contract extensions. He started evaluating things in the spring and apparently didn’t want to have contract discussions with Dorsey and lead him on if he wasn’t happy with what he was seeing.

“There was no point in having a lame duck general manager going into the season.”