For Pete's Sake

‘People around the NFL … are stunned:’ Reaction to John Dorsey’s firing

Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey (right) spoke with Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt prior to the home opener against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 11, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey (right) spoke with Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt prior to the home opener against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 11, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium.

There was shock among Chiefs fans and across the NFL on Thursday as the team fired general manager John Dorsey.

The Chiefs made the announcement not long after they put out a news release about extending the contract of coach Andy Reid.

Frank Schwab of wrote: “It’s a surprise considering the Chiefs are coming off a very good season. They went 12-4, won the AFC West and had the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. They lost their playoff opener to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it was a close game and still was a successful season for Kansas City.

“Reid has always had a major say in personnel, so it will be interesting to see how the Chiefs’ front-office structure looks like going forward without Dorsey, the long-time, respected personnel man.

“Either way, it’s a major shakeup for an organization that has become one of the NFL’s steadiest over the past four seasons.”

Connor Orr of wrote: “While this might seem like an odd time to change direction, the draft often serves as a logical starting and ending point for executives in the front office. This season, the Chiefs surprised many by trading up for Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II. Next season, they might be headed in a completely different direction. One thing is for sure — Dorsey will not have to wait long for another opportunity.”

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote: “Dorsey, who has a year left on his Chiefs deal, can take the year off with pay, stay put in Kansas City, and plan his next move. A respected figure in league circles, he’ll surely find something, somewhere.

“He may end up finding the G.M. job that arguably has more job security than any other, since there’s no one person in Titletown (Green Bay) who can get up on the wrong side of the bed or catch a wild hair and fire the head of the football operation.”

Jon Ledyard of wrote: “The decision to move away from Dorsey becomes the latest head-scratcher this offseason for Kansas City, especially since the general manager clearly had the freedom to make an aggressive move for a franchise signal caller, one that you would think the organization would at least want to see the results of before cutting the man responsible loose. Given how glowing (owner Clark) Hunt has spoken this offseason about both Reid and Dorsey, it’s fair to wonder if an unknown recent development put the two sides at an impasse.”

Here are some of the reactions from people on Twitter:

Mike McCartney, an agent who is a former NFL pro scouting director, tweeted: “‪#Chiefs‪ fired John Dorsey. Haven’t been this blown away by a move in my 26 years in the NFL. WOW!‬”

He later added: “If anyone has ever questioned that Scouts and Front Office personnel are considered 2nd class to Coaches, see ‪#Cavs and ‪#Chiefs”

Ian Rapoport of wrote: “There are few news stories I can remember generating as many stunned, dumbfounded reactions as John Dorsey being out in KC. Very respected”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter wrote: “Chiefs had quietest, tumultuous off-season of any team: cut Charles and Maclin, traded up for QB, fired high-ups a month ago, now fired GM.”

Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweeted: “Among issues I’ve heard ‪#Chiefs brass had with John Dorsey: Didn’t get some big deals done early (e.g. Houston, Berry). Cost them more later”

He also wrote: “That’s not uncommon, though. Dorsey’s a scout at heart and a highly respected one. People around NFL, including close to Dorsey, are stunned”

Gregg Rosenthal of wrote: “The Dorsey move is so surprising because he and Reid executed a textbook franchise overhaul last 4 years”

Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout wrote: “John Dorsey is a top-10 GM in the NFL. If he’s not safe, no one is. I’ve learned more about front office football from him than anyone else.”

The Ringer’s Kevin Clark wrote: “If you’re a GM with soft job security, you do not like that John Dorsey is now available.”

And: “In March I thought the Chiefs were a 2017 Super Bowl contender. Every move they’ve made since then has dispelled that notion.”

And also: “John Dorsey was one of the best in the game at evaluating pure athleticism. That is a pretty useful thing to be good at in the modern NFL.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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