Atlanta Falcons: Breaking down the 3 final candidates for GM

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Possible Atlanta Falcons GM target

Rick Smith is a finalist for the Atlanta Falcons’ GM opening. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down the three final candidates for the Atlanta Falcons’ open general manager position

The Atlanta Falcons have reportedly narrowed their search for the open general manager position to just three final candidates.

The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter reported Wednesday morning that the Falcons have moved forward with three finalists for the job and it looks as if that search is moving along much faster than the head coach opening.

It was reported earlier this week that the Atlanta Falcons were showing legitimate interest in Joe  Brady as the next coach, but today we’re going to focus on general manager.

Though there hasn’t been any inklings as to which way the Falcons are leaning, here’s a break down of the three final candidates.

Rick Smith

Former Texans GM Rick Smith is a finalist for the position and he’s a name that many analysts hadn’t pegged as someone with a legitimate shot at winning the job prior to the search getting underway.

Smith is the most experienced of the three candidates and he was a major part of building the Texans’ roster over the last decade. The Texans did win a division championship under his oversight and perhaps the most impressive portion of his time in Houston was during the 2017 NFL Draft when the Texans made the decision to trade up and draft QB Deshaun Watson, which turned out to be a franchise-changing move.

Smith announced he would be taking a leave of absence in late December of 2017 to be with his wife, who was battling breast cancer, and he ultimately never stepped back into the GM role with the Texans.

Smith is absolutely qualified and a bright mind. He has made some mistakes along the way with Houston, but it’s clear that organization has gotten significantly worse in decision-making since he left.

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