Falcons close to hiring Patriots' Dimitroff as general manager

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ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons appear to be close to hiring New England Patriots director of college scouting Tom Dimitroff as their general manager, but no deal has been signed, a Falcons official said Saturday.

"We're talking," Falcons spokesman Reggie Roberts said. "Do we have a signed contract, which indicates we have a general manager? We don't have one."

Roberts, who confirmed the talks are with Dimitroff, said there is no plan yet for a news conference.

Dimitroff is expected to take over the lead in the Falcons' search for a head coach, though the Falcons already have interviewed several candidates.

Dimitroff would replace Rich McKay, who will remain as team president.

The 40-year-old Dimitroff worked as a scout for Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City before joining the Patriots in 2002.

The Falcons also interviewed Philadelphia general manager Tom Heckert, Jacksonville director of scouting Gene Smith, and Chris Mara, the New York Giants' vice president of player evaluation who withdrew from consideration two days after interviewing with Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

Blank also received permission to meet with Green Bay's Reggie McKenzie and John Schneider.

The Falcons were rebuffed by Bill Parcells, who rejected the chance to take over football operations in Atlanta and instead took a similar job in Miami.


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