After the Chiefs fired general manager Carl Peterson following the franchise’s 2-14 season, head coach Herman Edwards’ status was left in doubt. Edwards was hired prior to the 2006 season, but a 15-33 record in three seasons (0-1 in playoffs) left Edwards on thin ice as the search for Peterson’s replacement heated up.

Today the Chiefs hired Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli, in a move that will likely spell the end of Edwards’ run in Kansas City. Edwards’ dismissal would bring the number of NFL head coaching vacancies to five (Jets, Lions, Raiders, Rams) and could possibly rachet up the competition for Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

NFL Network’s Adam Schefter reports that Pioli’s “short list” of head coaching candidates will probably include Spagnuolo, along with University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Spagnuolo currently heads the Jets’ list along with Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and the Rams plan to bring in the Giants’ coordinator for a second interview shortly. As the battle for Spagnuolo’s services continues to heat up, it will be interesting to see if the Jets push to fill their vacancy soon.

If the Jets choose to interview Ryan again, they will not be able to do so until next week, when Baltimore is either eliminated from the playoffs or is preparing for Super Bowl XLIII.

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