With preparations underway for what many Falcons' fans hope will be the best three-game winning streak in franchise history, the last thing that anyone wants to think about is the offseason.
However, NFL general managers like Thomas Dimitroff operate in parallel universes. Even at the start of a playoff run, Dimitroff and his staff will simultaneously concern themselves with the team's present and future.
With Tony Gonzalez still 95 percent sure that he will retire when the season ends, and core veterans like Todd McClure and Mike Peterson at retirement age themselves, Atlanta is sure to have some holes to fill on its roster.
In addition, the team must make important decisions regarding the futures of Brent Grimes, Michael Turner and Sam Baker. Star safety William Moore is also set to become an unrestricted free agent.
In coming up with this definitive blueprint for Atlanta's 2013 offseason, my theme was retention. Absent a blowout loss in the NFC Divisional Playoff Round in two weeks, there will be no reason to make drastic changes to a team whose core has now won 56 games over the past five years.
Join me as I guide you chronologically through my ideal 2013 offseason for the Falcons, starting with the end of the season in January/February and finishing with the opening of training camp in July.