Thomas Dimitroff: Already being replaced?


Thomas Dimitroff is on the hot seat as the Atlanta Falcons’ GM. While owner Arthur Blank doesn’t normally make moves until season’s end, is TD already being replaced?

Yesterday morning CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora wrote a post stating that Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is seriously considering making wholesale changes to his player personnel staff, including the dismissal of long-time general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Part of what led to the Atlanta Falcons’ rough six-game losing streak during the middle of the season was a perceived lack of depth on the roster.

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has reportedly fallen out of favor in Atlanta as he has been unable to draft well in the middle rounds for the club the last several seasons. Dimitroff usually does well with first round selections, but fails to hit in the middle rounds too often to have a strong team top to bottom. His 2012 NFL Draft not only doesn’t have a player on the 53-man roster in Atlanta, but no player taken by the Falcons in that draft is even in the league anymore.

La Canfora reports that Blank wavered on bringing back Thomas Dimitroff last season, ultimately bringing him back in a diminished role in 2015. First-year head coach Dan Quinn has an unusual clause in his Falcons contract that allows him to have control of the team’s 53-man roster.

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La Canfora lists two possible candidates Blank could look at replacing Thomas Dimitroff with, should he go in that direction at the end of the year: Seattle Seahawks director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner and Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton.

Quinn has a working relationship with both Kirchner and Paton. Dan Quinn was with Kirchner in Seattle as late as last season and Quinn worked with Paton as part of Nick Saban’s staff with the Miami Dolphins about a decade ago.

To me, while I understand Thomas Dimitroff being on the hot seat, I would have thought that the Atlanta Falcons would have done a better job squashing rumors about potential front office moves after last season’s fiasco. The team supposedly knew that former head coach Mike Smith was going to get fired before their Week 17 matchup against the Carolina Panthers. Atlanta was undeniably destroyed by the Panthers at home to lose the NFC South in the final week of 2014.

However, this is the general manager and not the head coach, so that may not have as adverse of an effect on the team heading into the final two weeks. Blank has said that he is fully committed to Quinn, but it seems that the writing is on the wall for Thomas Dimitroff. If he is ultimately replaced, look for Blank to pair Quinn with a person of his liking.

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It only makes too much sense to have the head coach and the general manager on the same page. I would expect Atlanta to go with a first-time general manager if they were to replace Dimitroff since I doubt Quinn would want to let go of his control over the 53-man roster clause in his Atlanta Falcons contract. An incoming general manager that didn’t know Quinn probably wouldn’t care for that clause in the slightest.