The Atlanta Falcons announced contract extensions for club president Rich McKay, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith on Monday. Despite finishing with a 4-12 season in 2013, the worst record for the franchise since 2007, the three executives will remain with the team for at least another season.
Dave Choate of SB Nation's Falcons blog, The Falcoholic, said on Monday that the extensions will allow Dimitroff and Smith to work in 2014 without the threat of expiring contracts making them lame ducks. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that the pair are safe for the long term.
With these moves, Blank has kept together his current brain trust. It's a vote of confidence that should stop some of the speculation about Smith's 2014 fortunes, but it's one that won't prevent the Falcons from making changes if the next season goes awry. Blank hasn't made a secret of his desire to see this front office and coaching staff succeed in Atlanta, and at least for now, he's putting more stock in the Falcons' winning ways before 2013.
McKay, 54, received the largest of the three contract extensions, as he is now under contract through May 2019 after signing a four-year extension with the team. Entering his 11th season with the team, McKay chairs the NFL Competition Committee and is currently overseeing the development of a new stadium for the Falcons that is proposed to open in 2017.
Dimitroff and Smith each received one-year contract extensions and will enter their seventh season with the team. In the six years the pair have headed the team, the Falcons have accumulated a 60-36 record with four trips to the postseason, including a trip to the NFC Conference Championship one year ago.