If Herm Edwards is on his way out as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, his new boss isn't saying.
In his first news conference since being hired as Chiefs general manager, Scott Pioli would go no further Wednesday than to say he intends to visit with Edwards.
"I have a lot of respect for Herm. I had a chance to visit with Herm today," said Pioli, who spent the past nine years helping Bill Belichick build a dynasty in New England.
"I've got a lot of respect for Herm on a professional level and a personal level. This entire thing is going to be a process."
ESPN's Michael Smith first reported Edwards could return for the final year of his contract.
Conventional wisdom had been that Pioli will want to hire his own guy, but a source said Pioli is coming in with an open mind. There have been reports that Edwards, 2-23 in his past 25 games, was on his way out.
"Contrary to reports that were out there, we're going to spend some time talking about Herm," said Pioli. "I'm actually looking forward to it."
According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Pioli previously had two coaching candidates in mind: Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz.
McDaniels, hired as Broncos head coach early this week, is off the market, and it appears Ferentz is staying put at Iowa, so those are the primary reasons why Pioli could retain Edwards for next season, and reassess the situation in 2010.
The fate of Edwards and his staff is expected to be decided by the end of this week.
Owner Clark Hunt, according to sources, prefers that Edwards remain the coach, but Hunt has gone on record as saying the new general manager would make that decision.
Another possible candidate mentioned to replace Edwards, if the team decides to go in a different direction, is New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
Information from senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, ESPN reporter Michael Smith and The Associated Press was used in this story.