Fact or Fiction? GM Edition

Will Bill Cowher really sit out 2009? Will Scott Pioli be the Chiefs next GM? We have the answers to seven burning questions as the Chiefs continue their GM search.

1. Will Bill Cowher be on the sidelines in 2009?

Fiction -
This offseason's hottest coaching candidate told a CBS television audience this morning, "I have been flattered about the attention, but the timing right now is not right. I don't plan on coaching next year."

Is that a definitive no? We don't think so but everyone who we chat with says the same thing – Cowher will stay away from the NFL in 2009 and take his chances in 2010, when other high profile candidates might loom in the open market - Bill Parcells, Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan and Tony Dungy.

2. Will Scott Pioli be KC's next General Manager?

Fiction - There is great debate over whether or not Pioli and Clark Hunt have met. We believe they have, with a second visit scheduled this week, but we don't see Pioli coming to Kansas City. There is no question he wants significant power to head up the Chiefs, or the Browns for that matter, who are now likely out for the fight for his services.

Pioli reportedly wants to be both Team President/General Manager and Cleveland Browns Owner Randy Lerner balked at that. Quite likely, if Pioli made the same demand of Hunt, he was told it wouldn't happen in Kansas City.

Is there a chance Pioli could still be the Chiefs' GM? Sure, if he lowers his power demands. But our gut tells us he's using leverage to increase his pay in New England.

But if you had asked me two years ago if Dayton Moore, who was in the exact same position in Atlanta with the Braves as Pioli is now in New England with the Patriots, would leave for the Royals, I would have said - and did say - that Moore wouldn't be swayed by David Glass. As it turned out, he was, and maybe Hunt can perform the same feat with Pioli.

3. Will former Denver Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan coach in 2009?

Fiction: (For Now) - There is no doubt in my mind and a team he's interested in at the moment is the Chiefs. Though it's not been officially reported, as we told you Friday Shanahan has had people reach out to the Hunt family to know that when he returns from his two-week vacation, a phone call might be in order.

Shanahan has already turned down overtures from the New York Jets, who are now leaning towards hiring Brian Schottenheimer. We can't see Shanahan being a fit in Detroit, Cleveland or anywhere else where ownership is weak. His top criteria is stable ownership and in Kansas City he would have that with Clark Hunt.

4. Will Herm Edwards be retained in 2009?

Fiction - The longer the GM search goes on, the less likely it becomes that Edwards will be on the sideline in Kansas City next season. He's been in limbo nearly a month now since the resignation of Peterson. If Edwards is let go, he'll earn $3 million from the Chiefs for a one-year vacation. Edwards ultimately took a bullet for this franchise, one that has led to Peterson's resignation, the beginning of a youth movement and a long-overdue new course of direction for the Chiefs. That will ultimately be his legacy for this franchise.

6. Will the Chiefs draft a franchise quarterback in the first round?

Fact - No matter who the new general manager or head coach is next season in Kansas City, there isn't any doubt that unless you draft and develop a quarterback, generally you don't win Super Bowls. The first round of the playoffs featured Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco.

Tyler Thigpen is a good young candidate to one day assume a starter's role, but that's not enough to give him the job in 2009 outright. With Georgia's Matt Stafford or Oklahoma's Sam Bradford likely available when the Chiefs are on the clock with the third pick, the team would be hard pressed to pass on either one. But if the Chiefs move down and grab some extra selections, they could draft either Kansas State's Josh Freeman or USC's Mark Sanchez (if he enters the draft).

7. Will Scott Pioli, Chris Polian, Mark Dominik, Jimmy Raye III or Eric Decosta be KC's new GM?

Fact - Early on I've maintained that the next GM in Kansas City would be Polian, but the hot name right now and the one that I think ultimately might get the job appears to be Eric Decosta, Director of College Scouting from the Baltimore Ravens. He was the key man in the organization who convinced the Ravens' brass to jump up in the first round to draft quarterback Joe Flacco.

DeCosta worked under Ozzie Newsome the last 13 years and he's ready to run his own ship. He fits the primary requirements of Hunt, who wants someone young with fresh ideas. The problem is the way the Ravens are playing defense, the Chiefs might not be able to hire DeCosta until February 2 - the day after the Super Bowl.

Even with that problem at hand, if I were Hunt, I'd make DeCosta the Chiefs new General Manager and then find an experienced head coach with a Super Bowl ring or two under his belt. Hey, did you guys hear that Mike Shanahan got fired in Denver on Tuesday?

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