KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs generated buzz around the NFL Thursday afternoon with news the club extended the contract of head coach Andy Reid, then obliterated that headline less than an hour later with CEO Clark Hunt announcing the departure of general manager John Dorsey.
“I notified John that we would not be extending his contract beyond the 2017 season, and after consideration, we felt it was in his best interests and the best interests of the team to part ways now,” Hunt said in a statement. “This decision, while a difficult one, allows John to pursue other opportunities as we continue our preparations for the upcoming season and the seasons to come.”
The timing of Dorsey’s departure comes at a peculiar juncture for the club. Former director of football operations Chris Ballard, the team’s No. 2 front office executive behind Dorsey, left the Chiefs in January for the job of general manager for the Indianapolis Colts.
Last month the Chiefs announced the hire of pro personnel director Tim Terry, a former colleague of Dorsey’s from Green Bay. The club also made several other promotions and new hires, including the promotion of Brandt Tillis to director of football administration.
The team also announced the hire of Chris Shea as salary cap and legal executive. Shea and Tillis worked in the labor operations department of the NFL Management Council between 2007-08. Tillis joined the organization as an intern in 2007 while Shea served as a law clerk.
Shortly after Shea’s arrival as salary cap leader, the team release wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
The question, which Hunt has yet to answer, is why the team shuffled its front office last month with seemingly Dorsey’s guidance and now parts way with the executive.
The team’s success under Dorsey also raises questions with the move. The duo of Dorsey and Reid turned around a franchise that won just two games in 2012 into an organization with a 43-21 record and three playoff berths in four seasons.
Tillis and Shea both stand as potential in-house candidates for the general manager role. Other potential in-house candidates include co-directors of player Personnel Mike Borgonzi and Brett Veach. Veach reportedly drew interest from the Buffalo Bills in their recent general manger search.
At the NFL owners meetings in March, Hunt expressed an interest in renewing the contracts of both Dorsey and Reid. Yet only one of them received that offer.
Reid enters his 19th season as an NFL head coach and owns a career regular season mark of 173-114 (.602). He thanked Hunt in a statement for the opportunity to coach in Kansas City.
“We’ve made quite a bit of progress over the last four seasons, but we are not done yet,” Reid said. “We are going to continue to work towards our ultimate goal of winning championships. I’ve been blessed by the support of the community, our fans, the Hunt family and the entire Chiefs staff. I’m looking forward to the years ahead as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Less than an hour after the team issued that statement, the club announced Dorsey’s departure.
Hunt wished Dorsey the best going forward.
“My family and I sincerely appreciate John’s work over the last four-and-a-half years, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”