The Kansas City Chiefs have fired general manager Scott Pioli after four disastrous seasons. With Pioli at the helm of the franchise, the Chiefs went 23-41 over the last four seasons. They won the AFC West in 2010, and were blown out 30-7 in the first round of the playoffs by the Baltimore Ravens.
Pioli's long-term fate in Kansas City was tied to quarterback Matt Cassel from the getgo. As soon as Pioli was hired by the Chiefs, he traded for Cassel from the Patriots in exchange for the 34th overall pick in the 2009 draft that the Patriots turned into safety Patrick Chung. In his four seasons with the Chiefs, Cassel threw 59 touchdowns, 44 interceptions, and had a 77.5 QB rating. Aside from his Pro Bowl year of 2010, Cassel never threw for more than 16 touchdowns or 3000 yards in a season despite having playmakers like Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles on the roster. He lost his starting job this fall to Brady Quinn, who was even worse than Cassel this year.
Nothing much went right for the Chiefs in terms of drafting under Pioli either. With the third overall pick in 2009, the Chiefs took Tyson Jackson, who has five career sacks in four seasons. 2010 fifth overall pick Eric Berry is a stud and building block for the team, but 2011 first round pick Jon Baldwin has been a non-factor and 2012 first round pick Dontari Poe is still a work in progress.
But once again, it all comes down to the quarterback. As Cassel struggled, Pioli's fate seemed to become more and more clear. His ouster seems to solidify the potential hiring of Andy Reid, who would likely want to craft his own front office as opposed to hanging with Piolo and the status quo. One would also assume that this will be the end of Cassel's tenure in Kansas City, and that the Chiefs will be looking for a new quarterback for Reid to work his magic with. Despite having the top pick in April's draft, the quarterback class this year is weak, and Kansas City will likely look past the first round for a quarterback, if they look to draft one at all.