The Atlanta Falcons have completed their search for a new head coach and general manager. After hiring Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on Friday to be the team's new head coach, the Falcons announced the hire of former Saints vice president and assistant general manager for pro personnel Terry Fontenot as the team's next general manager.
In a statement from the team, owner Arthur Blank expressed his appreciation for the Louisiana native's ability to build relationships.
"When we started this process we were focused on finding someone that not only has a track record of identifying key building blocks that result in successful teams, but also someone who focuses on cohesive relationships within the building. We feel very strongly that we've found that individual in Terry Fontenot."
As a result of an initiative to promote more minority hires in leadership roles, New Orleans will receive a compensatory third round choice in the 2021 and 2022 NFL Drafts.
Fontenot replaces Thomas Dimitroff, who had been with the Falcons since 2008 before being fired following the franchise's first 0-5 start since 1997. The former defensive back from Tulane spent seven seasons as a pro scout before being promoted to his current role. Fontenot's duties in New Orleans included evaluating current professional players and educating key decision makers on which players should be targeted in free agency, through trades and on the waiver wire.
Fontenot interviewed remotely for the position on Jan. 6.
The biggest storyline facing Atlanta this offseason is what they will do at quarterback. Matt Ryan, 35, has three years remaining on his deal but the team also possesses the No. 4 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and there are multiple possibilities at the position. Other notable decisions include the impending free agency of center Alex Mack and running back Todd Gurley.
Washington, Carolina, Denver, Detroit and Houston have all filled their respective general manager openings, leaving Jacksonville as the only vacancy.