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Falcons unlikely to replace Scott Pioli with another assistant general manager

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Per another source, the split was indeed mutual with no immediate plans for Pioli to work elsewhere.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

We were mildly surprised to see Scott Pioli leave the Falcons a few weeks after the NFL draft. He was not connected to any other team at any point in his time with the Falcons, so why now?

Some guessed the Jets were interested but there’s no reason for Pioli to step down to interview. Did something go wrong? No, per an early report from Jeff Schultz of The Athletic. It seems hard to believe Pioli would step away from a team when he has been helping them find top players every single draft.

Albert Breer of The Monday Morning Quarterback had some additional information on the split and the future of Pioli’s old position.

Per Breer, Dimitroff and Pioli remain strong friends. They had discussed Pioli moving on in 2018, and he finally made the move now. Apparently they decided to go all-in on one last draft and free agency.

Who is Pioli’s top replacement? No one.

As for the Falcons, I’m told there are no plans to replace Pioli with another assistant GM—that title was one Dimitroff gave to Pioli out of respect. Over time they’ll probably go back to a more traditional structure, with a new, likely-promoted-from-within director of player personnel, and college and pro directors under him. The shuffling started this week, with Shepley Heard promoted to director of pro personnel.

The Falcons will return to the old, traditional system that struggled mightily at times. The same system also produced long-term NFL general managers like David Caldwell and Les Snead, and top players like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.

There’s no question that Pioli is a very talented evaluator and has been instrumental in one of Atlanta’s best draft stretches. He will definitely be missed at Flowery Branch but fans hope to keep up the same success without him. Per Breer, Pioli may turn into an analyst with the hope for a general manager job come January.