Falcons name Saints' Terry Fontenot as general manager

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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons named Terry Fontenot, who has spent 16 seasons with division rival New Orleans, the team's general manager on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old Fontenot becomes Atlanta's first Black general manager.

As the Saints’ vice-president and assistant general manager in charge of pro personnel, Fontenot helped build a consistent winner. The Falcons fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn following an 0-5 start this season which led to a 4-12 finish, Atlanta's third consecutive losing season.

The Falcons signed Tennessee Titans offensive co-ordinator Arthur Smith on Saturday to become the team’s head coach after agreeing to terms with Smith on Friday.

Atlanta held a virtual interview with Fontenot on Jan. 6 but could not meet with him in person while New Orleans was in the playoffs. The Saints were eliminated in Sunday's 30-20 loss to Tampa Bay, clearing the way for Atlanta to hire Fontenot.

Fontenot was the fifth candidate to interview for the GM job.

The Falcons previously met with former Houston Texans GM Rick Smith, Atlanta director of college scouting Anthony Robinson, and two other directors of college scouting, Brad Holmes of the Los Angeles Rams and Morocco Brown of the Indianapolis Colts.

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Charles Odum, The Associated Press