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Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Falcons have continuity going forward

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

I just sent an item to our news desk that Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff has agreed to a multi-year contract extension. That move has been expected since the Falcons already did something similar with coach Mike Smith.

Makes plenty of sense, because Dimitroff and Smith have formed a nice team since taking over the Falcons in 2008. They quickly rebuilt a franchise that was in shambles and have turned in three straight winning seasons. Give some credit to owner Arthur Blank for looking beyond the labor situation involving the players and making sure his coach and general manager are aboard for the long haul.

“This extension of Thomas’ contract ensures that he and Coach Smith, whose contract was extended last month, will be able to continue to work together on solidifying the long-term sustainability and success of our football team,” Blank said. “Thomas has proven himself to be a highly skilled and talented general manager of our club, and I look forward to the Falcons reaping the benefits of his work for many years to come.”

The Falcons have a strong nucleus in place and should be a playoff contender the next few years. But the extensions also could turn up the heat on Dimitroff and Smith just a bit. They've made Atlanta into a consistent winner, but the Falcons have lost the only two playoff games they've played in the Smith/Dimitroff era.