Falcons take a hit to front office

An offseason of upheaval continues for the Atlanta Falcons.

Director of player personnel Les Snead is leaving to become general manager of the St. Louis Rams, several league sources confirmed to ESPN.com.

This comes after offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey left to become head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder took a college job. Dirk Koetter has taken over as offensive coordinator and Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator. The Falcons also have made several other changes to their coaching staff.

While the departure of a front-office employee might not seem as big a deal as changes on the coaching staff, this particular case is a big deal. Snead carried lots of weight in the front office and was viewed as a key assistant to general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

This is an excellent hire by the Rams because Snead is an experienced talent evaluator who is more than ready for the next step. He should work well with new coach Jeff Fisher. But it’s also a big loss for the Falcons, and Dimitroff will have to adjust his staff.

Snead had been with the Falcons for 13 years and had worked his way up the scouting ladder to director of personnel.