The Atlanta Falcons were left a bit shell shocked on Thursday, as the team announced that assistant veteran general manager Scott Pioli is stepping down from his position with the front office.
Pioli has plenty of experience in American Football when it comes to running a front office, and this move does bode as a bit of a shock as many thought he was happy in his role with the franchise.
The Falcons stated that Pioli is stepping down to pursue other opportunities. No team jumps to mind that might go after Pioli to make them their full-time GM.
“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.”
It’s been a good relationship between Pioli and Dimitroff, long time friends from their time about three decades ago as scouting assistants for Bill Belichick when he was the coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Pioli came aboard in 2014 after four seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs general manager. Pioli took on a greater role in 2015 with pro and college scouting responsibility in a reworked Falcons front office that kept Dimitroff in charge amid a tumultuous time for the GM in Atlanta. The Falcons took off after the rework.
“After careful consideration and ongoing dialogue with Thomas 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 and Thomas for bringing my family and I here in 2014.
“When I accepted this position more than five years ago, we all believed this would likely be a two or three-year working relationship. 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. 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.”
The New York Jets just fired their GM in Mike Maccagnan, and one may have to wonder if with Adam Gase filling the role as coach and GM right now, that Pioli might be in the mix for the position in the Big Apple.