Pioli saga drumming up a lot of speculation

Outside of maybe Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan, no person has spawned more speculation this postseason than Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli. In the past week, my BlackBerry has lit up with the following messages:

  • Pioli has one day to decide whether to accept the Browns’ general manager job.
  • Pioli will take the Browns’ general manager job.
  • Pioli is not taking the Browns’ general manager job.
  • Pioli has unrealistic demands for the Browns’ job.
  • Pioli is interviewing for the Chiefs’ general manager job (this one turned out to be true!).
  • Pioli is close to taking the Chiefs’ general manager job.
  • Pioli isn’t taking the Browns or Chiefs’ jobs — he’s going back to New England.

The information from one day often has completely contradicted the information from another. It has been madness — the speculation, information and misinformation — surrounding one of the most secretive men in the sport. The reason it has stayed this way is that Pioli doesn’t share his business with anybody, maybe not even his wife. People in the Patriots’ organization have no idea what he’s doing. Certainly, people outside the Patriots’ organization have no idea what he’s doing.

But this much has been confirmed from multiple people who know Pioli:

After all this speculation, after all this guessing, all three options still are in play, at least in the minds of some familiar with the process. Pioli still could wind up in Cleveland. He still could wind up in Kansas City. He still could return to New England.

Pioli is pondering his possibilities, probably as this is being typed. When there’s a decision, the masses will find out. Until then, the masses will continue speculating.

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