Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli is leaving the Atlanta Falcons, according to the Falcons’ official team site.
“After careful consideration and ongoing dialogue with Thomas Dimitroff over the past year I have decided to step away from my position as the assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons to pursue other potential opportunities,” Pioli said in a statement. “I want to thank both Arthur Blank and Thomas for bringing my family and I here in 2014.”
Pioli, 54, has been assistant general manager of the Falcons since 2014. He was general manager of the Chiefs from 2009-12. Before that, he had been with the New England Patriots from 2000-08, rising from assistant director of player personnel to vice-president of player personnel.
At the time of his hiring by the Chiefs, Pioli was widely seen as the premiere general manager candidate on the market — having won numerous NFL executive of the year awards from various publications — and came to the team with high expectations from fans and media that he could bring “the Patriot Way” to Kansas City.
Instead, Pioli presided over a team that went 23-41 and lost its only playoff game over his four seasons. The initial optimism gave way to despair over the team’s fortunes, and Pioli’s tenure may ultimately be most-remembered for the tragic events of December 1, 2012—one of the darker days in Chiefs history.
Pioli was relieved of his duties with the Chiefs just over a month later.
“We understand and respect the decision Scott, Dallas and their family have come to today and wish them nothing but the best,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement. “Over the last five years Scott has not only provided tremendous value to me, but to the entire the Falcons organization. He is a dear friend and will be missed within our organization. We are continuing to assess the structure within our organization and move forward with our next steps.”
“When I accepted this position more than five years ago, we all believed this would likely be a two or three-year working relationship,” said Pioli. “I came in to work closely with Thomas on personnel structure, processes and decisions. I loved the concept, was confident I could provide value and have enjoyed the challenge.
“Now, after more than five years with the Falcons, I am ready for a change,” Pioli continued. “I want to thank all of my co-workers at Flowery Branch as it has truly been an honor to be a part of this organization and I am thankful to have been a part of this football team and the Falcons family.”