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With the Lions expected to hire Dan Campbell as their next head coach, only two vacancies remain for that position across the NFL. The Eagles and Texans are yet to name a successor to Doug Pederson and Bill O’Brien/Romeo Crennel. However, it appears Josh McDaniels is the frontrunner in Philadelphia, while no clear favorite has emerged in Houston.
The Texans hired a new general manager in Nick Caserio two weeks ago, much to Deshaun Watson's disappointment. Watson felt he did not have a voice in the decision, which could result in a divorce between team and player.
Caserio’s hiring left the Lions, Jaguars, Falcons, and Washington Football Team as the only teams needing to fill the GM position. And now we can cross the Falcons and WFT off that list with today’s news.
Fontenot to Atlanta
On Tuesday, the Falcons announced they are hiring former VP/Assistant GM from the New Orleans Saints, Terry Fontenot, as their new General Manager. He will be replacing Thomas Dimitroff, who was fired from the Falcons in October. Quinn’s replacement, former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, was hired last week.
Fontenot comes to the Falcons from New Orleans, where he’d spent all 18 years of his professional career. A former safety at Tulane, Fontenot’s career with the Saints began when he was just a marketing intern. Before the 2020 season, Fontenot was promoted to vice president and assistant general manager for pro personnel.
Atlanta has plenty of decisions to make on their aging, expensive stars and will pick fourth overall in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.
Hurney to Washington
Marty Hurney appears to be the new man for the Washington Football Team. The team is finishing up a deal with him as the next General Manager. Hurney was fired a month ago by the Panthers. Head Coach Ron Rivera and Hurney worked together during their time in Carolina.
In year one under Rivera, the WFT posted a 7-9 record, which was good enough to win them the NFC East and a playoff spot. They ultimately fell to Tampa Bay in the Wild Card Round over two weeks ago.
Washington will select 19th overall in the upcoming draft, but Hurney and Rivera will have a lot to think about moving forward, especially at the quarterback position. Alex Smith is 36, coming off of injury, and Taylor Heinicke is an interesting case. Dwayne Haskins was cut after being a first-round pick two years ago after conduct detrimental to the team.
These hirings leave just Detroit and Jacksonville with GM vacancies, as both franchises decided on hiring a head coach before General Manager. As noted, Campbell is expected to fill the coaching role with the Lions, and the Jaguars were able to pry Urban Meyer out of retirement for a shot in the NFL and the number one overall pick. Detroit will pick seventh with decisions to make at quarterback and wide receiver.