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.

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