I can't overstate how important it was to lock up Smith now, fresh off three back-to-back winning seasons. Under his guidance, the team has gone 33-15 over those three years, which as Jay Adams notes in the article linked above is the best record in a three year span for any Falcons coach. His tenure also marks the first time the franchise has enjoyed three winning seasons in a row, much less back-to-back ones.
Simply put, Smith is a coach whose reputation embodies balance, whether it's being fiercely loyal to his players but not coddling them, working to put together a team that plays well in all facets of a game or mixing boring sound bites with red-faced outbursts and headset tossing. It takes a steady hand to helm a team that's surrounded by anxious fans and an owner who truly values winning, and he's proven himself more than capable of doing so.
As Adams notes, we don't yet know financials, but unless it's the most expensive coaching contract in the league I'm already taking the position that I don't have any qualms with it. Good teams pay to keep their talent, whether it's players or coaches, and this is the latest sign that the Falcons are embracing that philosophy.