I’ve been hearing that New England vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli is prominent among candidates to clean up the mess in Detroit, and his stock would only soar if the Tom Brady-less Patriots emerge from the logjam atop the AFC East to win a playoff spot.
There are some people around the league who believe that, for the first time in his front-office career, Pioli might be making himself available to become another team’s GM, but I don’t necessarily believe Pioli has kept himself off the market.
For whatever reason, there has been a widely held perception that Pioli doesn’t want to leave the incredibly successful partnership he has had with Bill Belichick in New England. However, from what I’m hearing, that’s not the case.
Pioli has been open to listen to what other teams might have to offer and, given the Patriots’ dominance in this decade, should have had many of them pounding on his door. Yet, from what I understand, in Pioli’s nine seasons with the Patriots, only two clubs have sought permission from the Patriots to interview Pioli for GM openings: the Giants and Seahawks. It also is my understanding that he turned down both teams. Maybe that has helped generate the assumption that Pioli is unavailable.
I can’t imagine a better person to guide the Lions back from the abyss. The same man who had a big say in acquiring the talent that has helped build the New England dynasty should be able to make good use with the first-, third-, and sixth-round picks the Lions got from the Cowboys in the Roy Williams trade.