Falcons Rumors: Saints VP Terry Fontenot Favored to Land GM Role

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2021

A Gatorade logo banner covers the seats before an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Atlanta. The Seattle Seahawks won 38-25. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Danny Karnik/Associated Press

New Orleans Saints vice president, assistant general manager and director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot is reportedly the favorite to become the next general manager of the Atlanta Falcons.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, "signs point" to Fontenot being the next GM of the Falcons, although nothing will become official until the Saints are out of the playoffs.

If Fontenot does land the job, he will replace Thomas Dimitroff, who was Atlanta's GM from 2008 until his firing during the 2020 season along with head coach Dan Quinn.

Fontenot has spent 16 seasons in the Saints organization, including the past six as the director of pro scouting.

Per the Saints' official website, Fontenot's responsibilities include "recommending player acquisitions by evaluating players from all professional leagues, including the Saints roster, monitoring the waiver wire and supervising the advance scouting of upcoming opponents."

The Saints have enjoyed a great deal of success during Fontenot's tenure, winning seven NFC South titles and reaching the playoffs nine times. That includes winning the Super Bowl to conclude the 2009 season.

New Orleans has made it to the postseason in each of the past four campaigns and is set to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs on Sunday.

Fontenot also has playing experience, as he spent four years as a safety at Tulane from 1999-2002, becoming a team captain in 2001.

If Fontenot lands the Falcons job, he will have some work ahead of him, as Atlanta has missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons and went just 4-12 this season, marking the franchise's worst record since going 4-12 in 2013.

The Falcons aren't far removed from reaching the Super Bowl, though, as they played for a championship in 2016 and held a 28-3 lead only to lose to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in heartbreaking fashion.

Fontenot would take over a defense that needs a lot of work and an offense that has no shortage of talent with quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley leading the way.

The Falcons are set to pick fourth overall in the 2021 NFL draft, meaning they could be in line to add a huge piece to a defense or offensive line that desperately needs it.