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Falcons name Saints' Terry Fontenot as general manager

Tue Jan 19 8:40am ET
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Falcons named Terry Fontenot, who has spent 16 seasons with division rival New Orleans, the team's general manager on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old Fontenot becomes Atlanta's first Black general manager.

As the Saints' vice president and assistant general manager in charge of pro personnel, Fontenot helped build a consistent winner. The Falcons fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn following an 0-5 start this season which led to a 4-12 finish, Atlanta's third consecutive losing season.

The Falcons signed Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on Saturday to become the team's head coach after agreeing to terms with Smith on Friday.

Atlanta held a virtual interview with Fontenot on Jan. 6 but could not meet with him in person while New Orleans was in the playoffs. The Saints were eliminated in Sunday's 30-20 loss to Tampa Bay, clearing the way for Atlanta to hire Fontenot.

Fontenot was the fifth candidate to interview for the GM job.

The Falcons previously met with former Houston Texans GM Rick Smith, Atlanta director of college scouting Anthony Robinson, and two other directors of college scouting, Brad Holmes of the Los Angeles Rams and Morocco Brown of the Indianapolis Colts.

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Player Notes
Justin Fields Jan 19 9:10am ET

Ohio State star quarterback Justin Fields announced on Twitter his intentions to forego his remaining eligibility and enter the 2021 NFL draft. He is considered one of the nation's top prospects after leading the Buckeyes to the national championship game, where they fell to Alabama. Fields beat Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the semifinals by throwing six touchdowns despite suffering a hip pointer in the game. The 6-foot-3, 228-pounder was 20-2 in his time as the Ohio State starter while completing 68.4 percent of his passes and a 63:9 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his two seasons with the Buckeyes. Fields also ran for 867 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and 15 touchdowns. Lawrence is projected to go to the Jaguars at No. 1 overall, but the Jets could snag Fields with the No. 2 pick this April.

From RotoBaller

Jared Goff Jan 19 1:53am ET

Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff's recent inconsistent play has left his status as the starting quarterback for the 2021 season in the air and may lead the team to bring in someone who can push him, according to comments made by the NFL Network's Steve Wyche. 'The people I've spoken to said basically at this moment the relationship with Goff and (head coach Sean) McVay: not great. They need marriage counseling is what one person said to me. I think this is something that they're going to be able to work through, but there's got to be some healing and that's not just with Jared Goff's injured thumb,' Wyche said.

Fantasy Spin: Goff was very good in McVay's first two seasons (2017 and 2018), but it would seem that once opponents figured out how to slow down Todd Gurley late during the second half of the 2018 campaign, Goff started to get exposed. It's also possible that the defections of Sammy Watkins and Brandin Cooks have given defenses less to worry about vertically or that he is feeling the pressure of playing under his four-year, $134 million contract that he signed in September of 2019. Whatever the reason(s), fantasy owners should expect him to compete for his job in camp this summer.

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Deone Bucannon Jan 19 1:13am ET

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KeiVarae Russell Jan 19 1:13am ET

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Raheem Morris Jan 19 12:53am ET

Los Angeles Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, Chicago Bears safeties coach Sean Desai and Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Raheem Morris are most likely candidates to replace Brandon Staley as the Rams' defensive coordinator, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. Rodrigue is reporting a decision to fill the vacancy could happen as soon as Tuesday, Jan. 19.

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Stephon Gilmore Jan 19 12:43am ET

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James Bradberry Jan 19 12:33am ET

New York Giants CB James Bradberry has forced a league-high 42 incompletions since 2018, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Carlton Davis Jan 19 12:33am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Carlton Davis has forced 37 incompletions since 2018 - tied for the second-highest total in the league - according to Pro Football Focus.

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Vita Vea Jan 18 11:53pm ET

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Tyrone Crawford Jan 18 11:33pm ET

Dallas Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford (foot) underwent surgery last week and showed his right foot in a cast after the surgery.

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Justin Simmons Jan 18 11:13pm ET

Denver Broncos impending free-agent S Justin Simmons is a player that head coach Vic Fangio wants to return next season.

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Mark Ingram Jan 18 10:00pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens will release veteran running back Mark Ingram II on Tuesday, according to league sources. The move will save the Ravens $5 million against the 2021 salary cap and will allow Ingram to get an early jump on free agency. Ingram was a healthy scratch in five of the team's final six games to close out the season, but he insists that he's healthy and has plenty to offer a team in 2021. The 31-year-old was a first-round pick out of Alabama back in 2011, but he's unlikely to be anything more than a backup if he lands with another team on the open market this offseason. J.K. Dobbins took over as Baltimore's lead back in the second half of the 2020 season, and Gus Edwards should continue spelling him next season. Ingram, a three-time Pro Bowler, had 72 carries for 299 yards (4.2 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns in 11 games (nine starts) in his second year in Baltimore.

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Mark Ingram Jan 18 9:33pm ET

Baltimore Ravens RB Mark Ingram has been informed that he will be released Tuesday, Jan. 19, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Ingram may not be able to find a starting job this offseason but can be part of a running back committee for a team. Fantasy players can monitor the situation because Ingram can have fantasy value depending on his situation.

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Davontae Harris Jan 18 9:33pm ET

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Robert Griffin III Jan 18 9:20pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens waived quarterback Robert Griffin III, defensive back Davontae Harris, wide receiver De'Anthony Harris and defensive back Tramon Williams on Monday. Griffin played in four games in his third season with the Ravens and made a start in place of Lamar Jackson after he contracted COVID-19 in the Week 12 loss to the Steelers. RG3 went just 7-for-12 for 33 yards and an interception in that start, also running the ball seven times for an additional 20 yards. The No. 2 overall pick might've played in his last NFL game, but he could also return to the Ravens if he goes unclaimed on waiver. The 30-year-old started just two games in three years for Baltimore and declined after he was named a Pro Bowler in his rookie season with Washington.

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Bo Scarbrough Jan 18 8:33pm ET

Seattle Seahawks practice squad LB Ray-Ray Armstrong, OG Alex Boone, RB Alex Collins, RB Bo Scarbrough and TE Stephen Sullivan had their contracts expire Monday, Jan. 18.

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Spencer Ware Jan 18 8:13pm ET

Chicago Bears practice squad LB Devante Bond, QB Tyler Bray, OG Eric Kush, CB Sojourn Shelton, LB Manti Te'o and RB Spencer Ware had their contracts expire Monday, Jan. 18.

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Joe Haden Jan 18 6:03pm ET

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Robert Griffin III Jan 18 5:23pm ET

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Matt LaFleur Jan 18 5:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said that the team will be careful with rookie running back A.J. Dillon (undisclosed), but he is hopeful that Dillon can play on Sunday against the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game. Dillon left the fourth quarter of the win over the Rams in the Divisional Round on Saturday with an undisclosed injury. The 22-year-old ran the ball six times for 27 yards in the win over the Rams. Keep a close eye on his practice status throughout the week. If he's inactive against Tampa Bay, Jamaal Williams would be a much more attractive DFS sleeper behind Aaron Jones. Dillon dealt with injury and was on the COVID-19 list in his rookie season, but he could have a substantial role in Green Bay's backfield in 2021 if Jones leaves in free agency.

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