Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli is leaving the team to run the Kansas City Chiefs football operation, a league source confirmed to the Globe today.
ESPN's Michael Smith was among the first to report the news this afternoon. The National Football Post also reported this afternoon that Pioli has accepted the job.
In prior reports, the Globe indicated that a potential marriage between Pioli and the Chiefs was gaining momentum.
On Sunday and Monday, the Globe reported that the intensity of talks between Pioli and the Chiefs was rising and that the possibility of him going to Kansas City was looking more like a realistic possibility.
ESPN's Smith also reported that director of player personnel Nick Caserio would take Pioli's job in New England.
Pioli, 43, has been with the Patriots for nine years and won a pair of Sporting News Executive of the Year awards. While the Chiefs were 2-14 a season ago, they are not a hopeless situation. They are expected to be approximately $30 million under the salary cap and own the No. 3 overall selection in the draft.
"To sum up in words everything Scott Pioli has meant to this organization and to me personally would be difficult, if not impossible," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. "From the day I met him, he has demonstrated a passion for football and respect for the game that is second to none.
"On a personal level, the Belichick-Pioli bond runs far deeper than our workplace, as we and our families have shared countless memories away from football. Working side by side with one of my best friends for almost two decades is special enough in itself. But to help each other achieve success beyond our dreams is a blessing and something I will always remember and appreciate."
Pioli is the second significant departure from the Patriots' staff this week. Yesterday, 32-year-old Josh McDaniels, who had been the teams offensive coordinator for three seasons, signed a four-year contract worth $8 million to replace Mike Shanahan as head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Since Belichick became Patriots coach in 2000, McDaniels is the third member of his staff to be tapped for an NFL head coaching job, following defensive coordinators Romeo Crennel, who was hired by the Cleveland Browns in 2005, and Eric Mangini, who left for the New York Jets in 2006 and was hired again by the Browns last week to replace Crennel.
Pioli is leaving his post a year to the day after Patriots college scouting director Tom Dimitroff was hired as the general manager of the Atlanta Falcons.
"On behalf of the entire Patriots organization, I wish Scott continued success in his new role and offer best wishes to his wonderful wife Dallas, and their beautiful daughter Mia," Patriots chairman Robert Kraft said in a statement. "I think Clark Hunt and the Kansas City Chiefs have made a very wise hire.”
Also, following up on today's Globe report that special teams coach Brad Seely and special assistant/secondary coach Dom Capers weren't expected to be back with the Patriots, the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Seely is expected to join Mangini with the Browns.