September 09, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli talks with Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff during pre-game warmup before the game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Falcons won 40-24. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Scott Pioli And The Kansas City Chiefs Capgate

C.J. Moore of CBS Sports reported on Tuesday that Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli believes the Chiefs have spent 20 million dollars over the cap this year already. Moore’s sources are Adam Teicher, Kent Babb and Sam Mellinger.

In an interview with Adam Teicher, Scott Pioli says,

I also know for a fact that this year alone we’re spending over $141 million in cash this year.

ProFootballTalk (PFT) published a report of available cap space for all NFL teams on September 7 stating quite a different story. The report includes all 53 players for each team as well as their practice squads. The results are spelled out in the chart below:

The Chiefs, in bold have the third most cap space available. The teams highlighted in yellow are the teams who made the playoffs last season.

Pioli also said in that same interview,

It’s been proven time and time again that there’s not a direct correlation between spending cap dollars and winning. There’s not.


The graphic showing the 7 teams with the lowest amount of cap space would appear to disavow Pioli’s contention.

Pioli has come under fire after the Chiefs slow start and has taken to the media for damage control but, may in fact have made things worse with some unintentional, erroneous, admissions.

Arrowhead Addict’s Nathan Bramwell chased down the story by Kent Babb in which he states,

He (referring to Scott Pioli) was concerned enough about what cornerback Brandon Flowers might’ve thought if Pioli had signed Brandon Carr to a richer contract that this factored into his decision to let Carr leave Kansas City and sign with the Dallas Cowboys.


Now, it’s clear the Chiefs had plenty of money to keep both corners and the team has already suffered for it.

This is not all “new” money either. 30 teams in the league had extra unused cap money left over from 2011 but the Chiefs had more than any other team — 62.995 million as reported by the ESPN’s Senior Writer John Clayton back in February.

The extra cap space has been around for awhile now and Scott Pioli knows this better than anyone. So, why would he misrepresent the facts about the Chiefs current cap space?

One reason may be that it’s bad PR to leave cards on the table when his team keeps playing losing hands.

Pioli has long had a reputation at being a miser when it comes to money management. However, there’s a difference between being frugal and being a cheapskate.

Clearly, Pioli is a sandbagger. He’s holding back. He says he’s looking for “the right 53” but, that seems to have become his excuse more than his reason for not signing players who could help the team.

Sam Mellinger says that Pioli may losing the trust of the fans. His secretive approach does nothing to help bridge the gap that is widening between team and public.

Is Scott Pioli’s “creative” interpretation of cap numbers a desperate attempt to salvage his relationship with the KC fan base?

Other Pioli decisions affect the cap too. A holdover tenant he’s carried forward from his Patriot days is to draft or sign players who have multiple talents or who can play more than one position. A sound practice right? Name one player who has “made a difference” because of that tenant?

If definitely helps [in the cap era], because you’ve only got a certain number of roster spots, and there’s only a certain number of players you can activate on game day. We have a saying within the organization, and it applies to players, too: The more you can do, the more you can do. If a player can do more, and a coach can do more, it’s an organization plus. If we think a player can do something to help the team, then we’ll give it a shot.

Has the search for such players been a time consuming waste of time? Once again, is the idea of finding multi-talented players a false tell like “the right 53?” Is it just another story he leads people to believe when in fact he’s just selling the Emperor more new clothes?

The Chiefs clearly could have afforded to re-sign CB Brandon Carr but, there may have been another reason he didn’t want to: Carr did not fit into his football philosophy.

Pioli once said about Bill Belichick, “Bill and I have a rule. If a guy needs the sizzle, he’s not for us.”

You can only obscure the truth about yourself for just so long. After four seasons of jargon and disingenuous genuflecting — the true Scott Pioli is coming into focus.

Following the game with the Buffalo Bills — Chiefs HC Romeo Crennel said, “We didn’t play well enough in any phase of the game. We didn’t coach well enough.”

In a piece by Marc Sessler for called, “Scott Pioli Still Upbeat About 0-2 Kansas City Chiefs” Pioli said of Crennel, “I think he’s doing a good job. I really do,”

Christopher Hansen from the Bleacher Report asks,

Why have the Patriots continued to be an elite team (38-12 record) while the Chiefs have been below average (21-29)? Excuses can be made, but Pioli’s leash is shortening with every loss.


A fairer comparison might be to the Atlanta and GM Thomas Dimitroff since he began with the Falcons one year before Pioli did with the Chiefs as they both came from the same Patriots system. Since he took over his record has been 45-21. You may also have noticed that the Falcons are the team with the third least amount of cap space while the Chiefs have the third most.

“In Pioli We Trust?” I’m not so sure Scott Pioli is the person Clark Hunt should be entrusting with the Kansas City Chiefs salary cap any more.

Next Chiefs Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep12:00Tennessee TitansBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: KC Chiefs

  • Danny W

    Good read. A lot of people were saying Pioli was cheap and then he picked up Boss, Hillis, and Winston. They all came cheap to NFL standards but he did produce something.
    I dislike the way Pioli has done things barring the Berry, Houston, Asamoua, and Baldwin pick in the draft but everyone was ready to give him a pass after his pick ups including me. Is Bryant McFadden and Lito Sheppard options to help the club? Who is out there? Are you saying we should have kept Carr? Who do you like for us to pick shed some cap room? I’ve been trying to find players on the streets but can’t seem to find any information.
    What about him picking our draft picks next year? I think (praying) with a deep quarterback class coming out next year we will draft a QB in 2013 . Everyone on 610 radio seems to think so too. If we continue on this same pace we will be out a Head coach again as well, does Pioli survive that? Who would you like for the Kansas City Chiefs to let call the shots? Thanks for anything man and again good read.

    • eddwin321

      I was just thinking what Marty Schottenheimer could do with this line up. He would definitely get us to the post season with his first Super Bowl win and KC’s second. Yeah we’ve all been down that road before. The road where we’re all excited until the first post season game as opposed to being all excited until the first regular season game. All we as Chiefs fans really want is to be in the conversation all season. To be relevant right. Bull crud! We want a Super Bowl championship. We deserve it. Sold out stadium after sold out stadium and nothing to show for it. (I’ve never been to Arrow Head) but I’ve purchased Sunday ticket every year since it was available. Just to be disappointed year after year. But let’s get down to brass tax. Bill bullock won a Super Bowl with Dilfer at the helm. He is a great coach. Still don’t no why he’s not coaching. Gruden won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson. Both available but not from the Patriots system. What a load of crap! The Patriot system has gotten precisely dick! Time to change it up. Maybe “The Chin” would consider coaching if we gave him control of personnel moves. And why wouldn’t we. He can do no worse than the Patriot Act. We are a day late and a dollar short as usual in the copy cat league. Time for us to get our own identity and teams start copying us.

      • ladner morse

        I’d like to see Bill Cowher… as long as he’s here for a long commitment. No “Super Bowl then I’m out of here” attitudes for me.

    • ladner morse

      Up til now I’ve been saying Carr was not a real option — but, with the knowledge that Pioli is hold back — and holding back a lot — the Chiefs appear to be out manned — especially when it comes to play makers top notch talents.

  • Krans

    I think everyone is freaking out right now — which is somewhat understandable but I think things have to be put in perspective. I don’t know that Pioli is or isn’t the right guy for the job but I think it’s too early to call it. What did we all think a few weeks ago? We all felt great about the offseaon, Hillis, Boss, and especially Eric Winston. Remember when half the site hated to see Carr go but agreed it was the right move and there would be too much money invested in CBs otherwise?

    I don’t know what’s up with the defense but they’ve just looked terrible. I expected the Falcons game based on who we were missing but Berry doesn’t seem 100%, Lewis being out has hurt, not sure what to say about Routt yet and Poe well he needs time.

    I’m not saying you don’t have legitimate points, but I don’t think anyone thought the state of this team was this urgent a month ago.

  • KCinTX

    4 years of excuses on why we cant/shouldn’t spend max cap. Could have paid Carr and re worked Flowers contract if he wanted or needed to. I know Carr said he always wanted to be a Cowboy. I didn’t expect him to say he always hated the team and only signed for the cash. did you? Odds are against you winning any tournament. The odds of loosing are increased if you keep folding because your scared to get in with Ace Queen suited. Time to put all the chips in the pot and see if we flop a full house or catch the straight or flush.

  • Brody Hall

    Way to many secrets from Pioli and frankly… I’m sick and tired of excuses and bs from this man. I have said it since the end of last season… Its not just put up or shut up time for Cassle… But for our GM as well! If KC indeed suffers through yet another let down of a season i say bye bye, we let Karal Peterson stick around for too long and look what happened… Jobs are on the line this season in my book and if their not in the eyes of those who can do something about it then KC has much bigger issues at hand.

    • ladner morse

      We don’t know for sure yet — but Crennel could be another HC mistake — if he is I don’t know how many mistakes like that Pioli can be given.

  • sidibeke

    If this season doesn’t turn around, I think Pioli and RAC will be gone, and likely Cassell with or shortly thereafter.