Thomas Dimitroff will enter his eighth season as the general manager of the Atlanta Falcons. Owner Arthur Blank officially announced on Friday that he wants to keep the duo of Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn. After an out of nowhere 5-0 start to the 2015 season, the Falcons finished 3-8 in their final 11 games.
Blank told the public, “My commitment to our fans is to put the best possible product on the field each year,” Blank said. “No one is satisfied with an 8-8 record, but I am very pleased with the direction of our team under the leadership of Dan Quinn and confident in his long-term approach. No question, we took some positive steps forward this year and have a good foundation our existing coaching staff can build upon.”
Many Atlanta fans did in fact want Blank to hand Dimitroff the pink slip. Why? Because many feel his drafting has been abysmal over the years, outside of a few obvious selections. In 2009, the team selected Peria Jerry (DT) with their first-round selection. They missed out on Clay Matthews out of USC, and Jerry retired before the 2014 season began. In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Falcons might as well have missed on each selection. Besides Lamar Holmes (OT), who has done nothing for the team, no one selected then is in the NFL.
Dimitroff has done some good, though. Some of his draft picks include Matt Ryan, Jake Matthews, Julio Jones, Desmond Trufant, and Devonta Freeman. Dimitroff traded five draft picks to Cleveland to move up to the sixth-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft to select star receiver Julio Jones. As it stands today, last year’s draft class also appears to be one of the best in the NFL.
Arthur Blank seems to be tired of rebuilding, and wants the Quinn-Dimitroff duo to find a way to make it to the promised land. With Dimitroff having some solid free agent finds and a great draft class last season, he will have the opportunity to capitalize on that this offseason. Atlanta still has obvious needs, and everyone will look to Dimitroff and Quinn to find the right players to invest in this upcoming offseason.