Report: Falcons Lining Up Interviews For GM Opening

By Ari Meirov

The Falcons are one of four teams to already fire their general manager.

They are the first team to line up interviews.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Falcons would like to interview Saints vice president/assistant general manager of pro personnel Terry Fontenot for their vacant general manager position.

Former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith and Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes are also candidates the Falcons would like to interview.

Fontenot has spent 18 years in the Saints organization and is a key voice in the front office with Mickey Loomis and Jeff Ireland. He interviewed for the Jets GM job that ultimately went to Joe Douglas in 2019.

Smith has been out out of football since December of 2017 spending time with his family as his wife Tiffany passed away after a battle with cancer. Washington reportedly came close to hiring Smith as their president before hiring Ron Rivera. Smith recently said on the Adam Schefter podcast that he wants to get back to being in the front office.

Holmes has been with the Rams for the past 18 seasons, starting in public relations and moving to scouting.

Fontenot and Holmes can only interview after the regular season.

The Falcons fired GM Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn in early October after the team started 0-5. They’ve won 4 out of 7 since under interim head coach Raheem Morris. 

The NFL recently approved a plan to reward teams with draft picks for developing minority coaches and general managers. Under the plan, teams who end up losing minority staff members to head coaching jobs or other high-level positions like general manager, will receive two third-round compensatory picks.

The NFL also recently announced that all interviews for coach, coordinator, G.M., or assistant G.M. must happen virtually, by video conference of phone. The protocol will change after the regular season ends. If the candidate’s club has been eliminated from the playoffs, interviews can be conducted in person. If the candidate’s team is still in the postseason, the interview still must be virtual.

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