Falcons hire former Saints pro scouting director Terry Fontenot as new GM

The Atlanta Falcons have now filled both of their major vacancies as they seek to find a new path for their franchise, one that’s presumably in the opposite direction of their frustrating 4-12 season.

The Falcons have officially hired Terry Fontenot as their new general manager, the team announced Tuesday. Fontenot, who was the vice president/assistant GM for pro personnel with the New Orleans Saints, is replacing Thomas Dimitroff, who was fired along with head coach Dan Quinn in October after the Falcons had flailed to an 0-5 start. Quinn’s replacement, former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, was hired last week.

The Falcons have hired former Saints director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot as their new GM. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Falcons have hired former Saints director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot as their new GM. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Fontenot worked his way up with the Saints

Fontenot spent all 18 years of his professional career with the Saints. A former safety at Tulane, Fontenot’s career with New Orleans began when he was a marketing intern. GM Mickey Loomis noticed his work and asked Fontenot if he wanted to join the scouting staff as an intern. He had zero scouting experience, but learned quickly and started making his way up the ladder inside the organization.

After serving as a pro scouting intern, he moved up to player personnel assistant and then pro scout before his promotion to director of pro scouting. Before the 2020 season, Fontenot was promoted to vice president and assistant general manager for pro personnel.

Over the years, Fontenot has been responsible for advance scouting, evaluating and rating current professional players and preparing the club for acquisitions through free agency or the waiver wire.

That kind of team-building experience is exactly what Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank was looking for in his new GM.

"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," Blank said in a statement.

"In his past positions, he has shown the ability to make strong decisions and judgments that result in championship-caliber teams, while also understanding a variety of viewpoints and respecting a collaborative process throughout. Landing a leader of Terry's stature, I believe our organization, players, fans and community will have confidence in our approach throughout this process as I am certain Terry will represent them and the expectations they have to a high level.”

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