New GM in KC?

With Black Monday on the horizon in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs could be in line for a change at General Manager. Should that occur who are the guys that might fill that void for the struggling AFC West franchise?

1. Bill Polian – In recent weeks, he's been the name that most NFL observers believe could become the next General Manager of the Chiefs. He has a resume that is littered with success in NFL cities such as Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis. He's also had a history of hiring great coaches, Bill Levy (Bills), John Fox (Panthers) and Tony Dungy (Colts).

To me, Polian makes the most sense for the Chiefs but I have some reservations. At issue is the fact he's 69 years old and has a young son, Chris Polian, who will be groomed to take over for his father when the elder Polian retires. That's slightly problematic for Kansas City.

That means the Chiefs Chairman, Clark Hunt, will have to endure another GM change in the next three or four years. And I don't think that's something he wants to do. The other issue with hiring a guy like Polian, as is the case with the Chiefs current General Manager, he's a classic control freak. For those wanting to gauge that level of risk on that last statement, Polian's ego rests somewhere between that of Carl Peterson and Scott Pioli.

As one of the NFL's older guards, he's from an era where ‘hands on' is both time consuming, eccentric and silly – it's just part of his DNA. In other words, he has his ways; they are set in stone, thus making him a non-flexible person that could clash with the much younger Hunt.

2. Russ Ball – The Packers organization must be convinced there isn't a prayers chance in you know where that Ball will return to Green Bay next year. As the teams V.P. of Player Personnel, his resume also consists of ten years in the Chiefs organization spanning several roles.

That familiarity with the Hunt family in particular gives Ball a leg up on the other candidates. However, our NFL sources have told us that the Packers, even though it's a move up in job class to general manager, they will not permit anyone to be interviewed within the organization until the Packers post season run ends.

In other words, they want no distractions.

Still the Packers can flex their muscles all they want now. But should a team come knocking and the rules are in place for interviews to be allowed per the NFL bylaws on such matters, it's likely Ball will speak to several teams including the Chiefs.

He's not as well known as some of the other GM candidates but he does come from the Marty Schottenheimer tree. And that's something the Hunt family likes about Ball.

That aside, the Packers have built a strong team during Ball's tenure and would likely, with the right commitment from ownership, make Kansas City a dream opportunity for Ball.

3. Tom Heckert – Currently he resides as the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. But our sources indicate, he's about to be shown the door. And with his ties to the Philadelphia Eagles, the place where Chiefs President Mark Donovan, used to work, he could emerge as the top candidate to replace Scott Pioli.

Most NFL people in recent days I've spoken to about Heckert tell me he has a good eye for talent. He drafts well, and though he doesn't hit home runs all the time, his strikeouts are far less than what we've seen in Kansas City the last four years.

He did leave Philadelphia under less than ideal terms after the 2010 season. After a fallout with soon to be fired Eagles Head Coach, Andy Reid, he found refuge in the waiting arms of the Cleveland Browns top man, Mike Holmgren.

So if he is the top candidate, one has to wonder what issue or issues were the overriding factors in his dismissal. And do the Chiefs want a guy that might have some baggage that could impede his ability to get the job done in Kansas City?

Dark Horse Candidates:

1. Bill Kuharick – Why this man doesn't have an NFL gig is beyond me. He's still one of the brightest NFL minds in the business today and does not get the credit he deserves for drafting the stock of players in Kansas City that are the core of this franchise right now. And if you checked the five Pro Bowl players heading to Hawaii this year, four of them were his draft picks.

Even if he's not given consideration for the Chiefs GM job, much as he wasn't four years ago, the organization needs to put him back on the payroll post haste and use his incredible talents.

2. Rick Mueller – If Heckert, gets the nod this is a moot point. Or is it? Mueller has the cap savvy that would be hard to resist if you're the budget conscious Chiefs. I know it's a reach and though he did an excellent job rebuilding helping to rebuild the New Orleans Saints as Director of Player Personnel, he's not likely to get any General Manager offers.

If there were a way to pry him away from the Eagles, the Chiefs would be wise to do so. He might be the games best cap guy and we all know how much Clark Hunt loves the numbers.


WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Which of these men do you want as KC's next General Manager?


For all the news, notes and quotes on the Chiefs, visit WarpaintIllustrated.com

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