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Reports: Panthers request to interview two Chiefs personnel men for vacant general manager position

Kansas City may be in danger of losing more than just members of its coaching staff.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

When an NFL team has had as much success as the Kansas City Chiefs have over the past couple of years, other organizations will eventually become interested in not only the coaching staff but also the personnel department.

That is happening in Kansas City.

The Carolina Panthers have requested interviews with assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles and director of football administration Brandt Tillis for their vacant general manager position, according to two separate reports from NFL Network.

Poles, 35, has been a member of the Chiefs personnel department for nearly 12 years, starting as a scouting assistant in 2019 and working his way up to his current title. Poles was previously the Chiefs’ director of college scouting and plays a significant role in the team’s draft strategy. Poles served as general manager Brett Veach’s right-hand man during this year’s all-virtual draft, facilitating communication between critical members of the organization as the team made each pick.

Tillis’ name began making the rounds as the Chiefs signed quarterback Patrick Mahomes to his 10-year contract extension last offseason. Together with football operations counsel and personnel executive Chris Shea, Tillis helped Veach finalize deals with Mahomes, Chris Jones and Travis Kelce while keeping the team under the salary cap. Veach has credited Tillis with being the first individual to realize Mahomes’ contract extension would be more like a baseball contract than a football contract — and it was. 2020 marks Tillis’ 11th season in Kansas City.

“They’ve got time to draw on and experience at seeing the way a couple of different things have been worked,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of the duo during his Zoom press conference on Monday. “Scott Pioli, very successful, and then John Dorsey and then Brett Veach, and so they’ve got that to draw from and to know exactly what direction they want to go... For them to have a chance to work with Brett here the last little bit I think has been a good experience for them.

“Brett’s a great communicator, and he exhausts everything and he brings that energy that you guys see every day. For them to have that — to at least see how [Veach] operates — would be good for them going into these interviews. And then it’s a tribute to Clark (Hunt) and Mark Donovan and the organization in how it’s presented to the league. People want your guys, that means Brett’s doing something right there and Clark hired Brett — and so that’s a plus for everybody.

“Most of all, for these guys — I mean they have worked their tail off. Both of them have worked hard.”

It has been reported that Panthers head coach Matt Rhule would like the final say over the 53-man roster, which would likely make the job much more attractive to Tillis than Poles.