It has been expected for quite some, but now it's official. The Saints are losing Terry Fontenot to their NFC South rival. Fontenot, who just completed his 16th season with New Orleans, started as an intern in the team's marketing department. Fontenot most notably made his impact overseeing the pro personnel department for the Saints, which focused on the recommendation of player additions through an evaluation process from all professional leagues. He spent 2020 as the team's VP/Assistant General Manager after being promoted by Mickey Loomis.
From the Falcons' official announcement:
"When we started this process we were focused on finding someone that not only has a track record of identifying key building blocks that result in successful teams, but also someone who focuses on cohesive relationships within the building. We feel very strongly that we've found that individual in Terry Fontenot," said Arthur Blank, the Falcons owner and chairman.
"In his past positions, he has shown the ability to make strong decisions and judgments that result in championship-caliber teams, while also understanding a variety of viewpoints and respecting a collaborative process throughout. Landing a leader of Terry's stature, I believe our organization, players, fans and community will have confidence in our approach throughout this process as I am certain Terry will represent them and the expectations they have to a high level.
The Saints are expected to receive two third-round compensatory picks over the next two seasons. The NFL added a rule recently that states any team that loses a minority coach or executive to a head coaching or general manager role will be compensated with the picks in consecutive years. If said team loses a second employee to that role, they'll receive a third spread out over three consecutive years.
New Orleans has had a heck of a run for years, and now the dominoes are starting to fall. They'll simply have to rebuild a new foundation, which is something many are eager to see.