Atlanta Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli has resigned, the team announced Thursday.
"After careful consideration and ongoing dialogue with Thomas [Dimitroff, the Falcons' GM] over the past year, I have decided to step away from my position as the assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons to pursue other potential opportunities," Pioli said in a statement. "I want to thank both Arthur [Blank, the Falcons' owner] and Thomas for bringing my family and I here in 2014."
Pioli did not specify which opportunities he plans to pursue and later told ESPN via text message that "my decision has nothing to do with anything else." He was the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs and vice president of player personnel with the New England Patriots before working for the Falcons.
"We understand and respect the decision Scott, [his wife] Dallas and their family have come to today and wish them nothing but the best," Dimitroff said. "Over the last five years Scott has not only provided tremendous value to me, but to the entire Falcons organization. He is a dear friend and will be missed within our organization. We are continuing to assess the structure within our organization and move forward with our next steps."
Pioli was instrumental in overseeing the scouting department and free-agent acquisitions. He played a big role in the Falcons' scouting of 14th overall draft pick Chris Lindstrom, an offensive guard from Boston College. Some pointed to the offensive and defensive lines as Pioli's areas of expertise. He also played a key role in the acquisition of Pro Bowl center Alex Mack.
"When I accepted this position more than five years ago, we all believed this would likely be a two- or three-year working relationship," Pioli said in his statement. "I came in to work closely with Thomas on personnel structure, processes and decisions. I loved the concept, was confident I could provide value and have enjoyed the challenge.
"Now, after more than five years with the Falcons, I am ready for a change. I want to thank all of my co-workers at Flowery Branch as it has truly been an honor to be a part of this organization and I am thankful to have been a part of this football team and the Falcons family."
There is no immediate word on who will replace Pioli. The Falcons recently promoted longtime scout Shepley Heard to director of pro personnel while moving Joel Collier to the role of national scout.
Blank, the team's owner, recently expressed support for both Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn after a report that he was growing "restless" with the state of the Falcons.
"I'm feeling very good about what Thomas and Dan have done this offseason," Blank said in a statement this week. "We have some key guys getting healthy again, the draft picks are getting up to speed, the new coordinators are meshing well, and I'm confident we're going to be ready to go for a very competitive training camp. I like where we're going."
The Falcons, who lost to New England in the Super Bowl during the 2016 season, finished last year 7-9 while watching players such as Devonta Freeman, Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen suffer season-ending injuries. All three of those players are expected to be back healthy in 2019.