— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 10, 2021
16 years in the New Orleans Saints front office has prepared Terry Fontenot well for the opportunities he’s getting these days. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Fontenot, the Saints’ vice president of pro personnel, is a finalist for the open Atlanta Falcons general manager position. He interviewed with Atlanta on Wednesday, Jan. 6 in addition to meetings with the Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Fontenot has been a big part of the Saints’ success during the Sean Payton-Drew Brees era, so losing him would be a big hit to the team. Losing him to the Saints’ biggest rival would be even more unsavory, but it’s still great to see him receiving well-earned opportunities to run his own team.
Because the NFL introduced new incentives for hiring minorities to general manager and head coaching positions, the Saints would gain a pair of third-round draft picks in subsequent years should Fontenot be hired away by the Falcons or another team. It’s unclear yet whether those selections would convey in 2021 and 2022 or 2022 and 2023, but that’s a subplot worth remembering.
With all that said: Fontenot isn’t guaranteed to be hired by Atlanta. After firing longtime general manager Thomas Dimitroff, they’ve cast a wide net to search for candidates. It says a lot about Fontenot’s resume that he exited the interview process as a favorite to land the job.