2 Chiefs Execs Emerging as New Potential GM Candidates

Kansas City Chiefs

Getty Images Kansas City Chiefs

While Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy headlines many prospective head coaching lists heading into 2021, the defending Super Bowl champions, by their very nature, are also at risk to lose more coaching and executive talent than most organizations at present.

On the coaching side, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Mike Kafka are reportedly drawing looks around the league again, per CBS Sports. In addition, multiple clubs have their eyes set on former veteran executives with Chiefs’ ties, including ex-general managers John Dorsey and Scott Pioli, who is interviewing for the Detroit Lions job.

However, the current Chiefs front office also has a pair of rising personnel members who may get an opportunity to take their careers to the next level this offseason, a bittersweet scenario for Brett Veach, Andy Reid and company.

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Chiefs’ Mike Borgonzi, Ryan Poles on the Rise

According to a recent CBS Sports breakdown of the top 30 general manager candidates for 2021, Chiefs director of football operations Mike Borgonzi and assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles are two to watch for during the upcoming hiring cycle.

Mike Borgonzi, Chiefs director of football operations
He worked his way up from a college scout administrator in 2009 to the top of the football ops department for the defending world champs. He took over the role that Chris Ballard once held in Kansas City. A former fullback at Brown, Borgonzi has the playing and front-office experience to lead.

Ryan Poles, Chiefs assistant director of player personnel
One of the hottest names under 40 years of age circulating, Poles linked with Pioli in Kansas City and has since learned under John Dorsey, Brett Veach and Andy Reid. Working in those different, disparate systems and finding successes in them are ideas he can marry when he gets his shot.

Another familiar face to Kansas City, former WR Lake Dawson (1994-97), was highlighted on the list as well. The now-48-year-old is the assistant director of college scouting for the ascending Buffalo Bills and previously interviewed for “no fewer than six GM jobs” during the last decade, according to CBS Sports.


Dozens of Candidates, Less Than Half a Dozen Openings

Poles, while younger than most on the list of touted football minds, is beginning to draw national attention for his role in assembling the Chiefs’ impressive roster, including this Good Morning Football segment with NFL Network’s Peter Schrager and Mike Garafolo on Wednesday morning.

With dozens of qualified candidates competing for less than half a dozen GM openings around the league heading into the final weeks of the regular season, it’s not likely the Chiefs will lose both Borgonzi and Poles. But a more progressive organization looking to bring in a fresh, younger perspective may be more willing to pull the trigger on hiring one of Kansas City’s finest than in years past.

Though one could argue that many of the proposed landing spots — Detroit, Jacksonville, Houston — don’t exactly fit that mold.

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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!


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