The Falcons general manager search is finally winding down and according to a tweet by NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Saints vice president and assistant GM of pro personnel, Terry Fontenot, is considered to be Atlanta’s ‘favorite’ option for the open job.
Rapoport also says the Falcons won’t be able to finalize the deal until New Orleans is knocked out of the playoffs.
The #Falcons have identified #Saints VP/Assistant GM for Pro Personnel Terry Fontenot as the favorite to be their next GM, sources say. They won’t do a deal until New Orleans is out of the playoffs, but signs point to him being the choice.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 14, 2021
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Fontenot Climbed The Saints Ladder
Fontenot worked his way up the Saints’ front office ladder for a long time and is on his 18th season with the franchise. He started in a marketing role and is now considered to be Mickey Loomie’s right-hand man as director of scouting.
Since taking on a pro personnel role, he has been a major key in landing some top players to boost the defense, including linebacker Demario Davis, linebacker Kwon Alexander and defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Trey Hendrickson, and safety Malcolm Jenkins.
To top it off, Fontenot is well-liked across the league and respected for his talent to identify the best prospects.
Before being promoted to his current role, Fontenot spent seven years as a professional scout for New Orleans. The Saints will close in on their fourth consecutive NFC South title and have dominated the Atlanta Falcons in recent years.
Since 2008, the Saints made the playoffs eight times with an 8-6 record and won the franchise’s only Super Bowl trophy. The Saints take on the Bucs this Sunday and are favored by three points. As for the Falcons, they have seen the playoffs five times since ’08 and blew their shot at the Super Bowl.
Fontenot is a former ballplayer himself and played safety at Tulane (1999-2002). He was the team captain in 2001 and also made the 2002 Hawaii Bowl team.
He went back to school in 2012 where he attended Stanford Business School’s executive-education NFL-Stanford program, which is well-known in the NFL for training future executives.
Fontenot Linked to Joe Brady as Head Coach
If Fontenot does get hired, the Falcons are expected to bring on Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady.
Brady, just 31-years-old, started his coaching career four years ago as a graduate assistant at Penn State. From there, he moved on to be an offensive assistant coach under Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints. After that, he went to Baton Rouge as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at LSU, where he won a national championship ring. And then he was named the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers.
Brady’s career path has been quick to the NFL has been quick and successful. The Falcons are reportedly not the only one eyeing him for a head coaching role.
Brady really made a name for himself when he went to LSU and played a major role in Joe Burrow becoming a Heisman Trophy, which turned into him being the No. 1 overall draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.
After one season with the Panthers, the offense ranked 21st overall in total yards per game (349.5), No. 18 in passing yards per game (243.0), No. 21 in rushing yards per game (106.5), and 24th overall in points per game (21.9).
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