Scott Pioli finally gets axed

Fact: any general manager who watches as Brady Quinn takes snaps for his team will not remain employed for long, regardless of the circumstances.

Possible fact: Scott Pioli is an emperor, and a dictator who bugged rooms in the Chiefs’ facilities, and kept his employees under constant surveillance.

Indisputable fact: Pioli is no longer the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs.

After doing the inevitable and firing Romeo Crennel Monday, the Chiefs made another highly expected move this morning, firing Pioli.

The assumption here is that with Andy Reid surely almost definitely maybe likely signing on to be Kansas City’s next head coach, he’s communicated his desire for the change to continue, and to have a new personnel man up top. Preferably a guy who didn’t completely whiff on Matt Cassel. You know, the Matt Cassel who was benched in favor of Quinn this year. Seriously.

We’ll never know what takes place behind closed doors, but multiple sources are reporting that Reid’s impending hire wasn’t the leading factor behind Pioli’s dismissal. Instead, the parting was “mutual,” which is what every high school bro says when he can’t get over the shame of being dumped. Loser.

If only there was a cartoon bartender to explain why Pioli was an incompetent fool…

Cassel will proudly carry the torch as Pioli’s shining mistake, although there were certainly others. He had one season of looking brilliant while replacing an injured Tom Brady in New England, and during that year he threw 21 touchdown passes and only 12 interceptions. Remarkably, he had the Pats in playoff contention despite the loss of Brady.

That single, outlier of a season in Cassel’s career was enough to justify trading away the 34th overall pick in the 2009 draft to acquire his services. Since then he’s started 48 games for the Chiefs, and over that four-season stretch he’s had only one year in which he’s averaged over 200 passing yards per game. His yards per attempt was always below 7.0, which is widely considered average, and this year was particularly atrocious, as he committed 19 turnovers even though he started only 10 games. This weekend Russell Wilson will start a playoff game, a quickly blossoming young quarterback whom Pioli had multiple opportunities to draft last spring.

Pioli also traded away Tony Gonzalez, the tight end who looks like he could play about nine more seasons despite his age. He was second in receiving yards among tight ends this year with 931, and he’s become a central figure in a Falcons offense that’s led the charge towards two NFC South division titles over the past three seasons.

Then there’s the fumbling of the draft. While Eric Berry has become a stud and will remain so for many years, that won’t make anyone forget the Tyson Jackson pick in 2009 at third overall. The defensive end is one of the worst draft busts in franchise history, as he has just five sacks over four seasons.

So a new Chiefs era is upon us, and now Reid will have a strong influence in the search for the next GM. From a fantasy perspective, the most pressing question here is how they handle the impending free agency of Dwayne Bowe. Despite missing three games and dealing with the calamity at quarterback, Bowe still posted 801 receiving yards this year, and he had at least 1,000 yards over each of the past two seasons. It’s likely that he’s done in KC, since rebuilding usually doesn’t include paying a hefty sum to a player at a typically deep position in most draft pools, and Bowe will demand such a price since he just played under a one-year franchise tag valued at $9.5 million.

In KC, Bowe was the garbage time hero, and a reliable WR3. If he moves pretty much anywhere else, we can easily upgrade him to WR2 status.