Pioli spent four seasons with the Chiefs (2009-12) as their GM after leaving New England. He spent nine seasons in New England, co-running the team alongside head coach Bill Belichick as their director of player personnel. There, Pioli earned NFL Executive of the Year honors from Pro Football Weekly twice (2003, 2007) and Sports Illustrated twice (2003, 2004). He would earn both honors again in 2010 with the Chiefs. SI named him their top sports Executive of the Decade for the 2000s. Prior to his stint in New England, he was pro personnel director for the New York Jets under his father-in-law Bill Parcells from 1997-99. Pioli first encountered Parcells and Belichick when both were with the New York Giants in the 1980s as a student at Syracuse that would visit team practices. Pioli got his first foray into scouting as a pro personnel assistant with the Cleveland Browns in 1992, again with Belichick.
While responsible for drafting Pro Bowlers like safety Eric Berry, defensive tackle Dontari Poe, and linebacker Justin Houston during his time in Kansas City, Pioli was criticized for other poor picks like first rounders defensive end Tyson Jackson and wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin, as well as the trade that brought quarterback Matt Cassel to the team, and coaching hires like Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel.
Dimitroff consulted with Pioli before pulling the trigger on the trade that brought Julio Jones to Atlanta. In his new capacity, Pioli could help alleviate some of the turnover the Falcons have had in their front office in recent years.