Pioli declines interview with Giants

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – New England Patriots executive Scott Pioli has turned down a request to interview for the general manager’s job with the New York Giants.

“I am very honored to be granted the opportunity to discuss a potential position with the New York Giants,” Pioli said in a statement issued by the Patriots on Monday. “I have tremendous respect for the Kraft family, the Mara family, the Tisch family and the Giants organization.

“After careful consideration, and for personal reasons, I am continuing in my current role with the New England Patriots.”

The Giants started a search to replace retiring general manager Ernie Accorsi late in the season, and it’s no surprise they focused on the Pioli, the Patriots’ vice president of player personnel. The 41-year-old is a two-time winner of the Sporting News’ George Young NFL Executive of the Year award.

Pioli and coach Bill Belichick have combined to win three Super Bowls with the Patriots since arriving in 2000.

The son-in-law of Dallas coach Bill Parcells entered the NFL in 1992 when Belichick, then head coach of the Cleveland Browns, hired him as a pro personnel assistant. Belichick left the Browns after the 1995 season, and Pioli became director of pro personnel of the franchise when it moved to Baltimore in 1996.

He served as director of pro personnel with the New York Jets from 1997 through 1999, while Belichick was assistant head coach, then moved to the Patriots with Belichick in 2000.

The Giants have several in-house candidates for the general manager job, including Chris Mara, vice president of player evaluation; Jerry Reese, director of player personnel; Dave Gettleman, director of pro personnel, and Kevin Abrams, assistant general manager.

Reese is considered the favorite among the four current members of the organization. He oversees all aspects of college scouting and has most of the responsibility for the NFL Draft.

Mara, the brother of Giants co-owner John Mara, might have the most experience. He was general manager of the New Jersey Gladiators of the Arena Football League in 2001-02. He also spent eight years running an independent football scouting service that was contracted by NFL teams.

AP-ES-01-08-07 1914EST

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