The yearly exodus of an important member of the Falcons front office seems likely to continue in 2014.
Lionel Vital, Atlanta's Director of Player Personnel, has received a second interview from Tampa Bay and appears to be the team's top candidate for its GM vacancy moving forward, according to Alex Marvez.
Simply put, this would be another huge loss for Thomas Dimitroff and his staff. Last year, it was Dave Caldwell who left to become GM of the Jaguars. The year before, Les Snead left to rebuild the St. Louis Rams (where he has done a quality job, I may add).
Vital's pedigree is certainly GM-worthy. Before following Dimitroff to Atlanta, he served as a National Scout in Baltimore under Ozzie Newsome and as Assistant Director of College Scouting in New England under Bill Belichick. That's quite a resume.
Whether Vital leaves or not, it shows just how heavily sought after the Falcons front office has been. We may be critical of Dimitroff and the team's moves from time to time (as I have been at times), but there is little doubt that the rest of the league feels otherwise. It's a part of the business. In a way, Atlanta's front office pillaging also feels similar to what happened to the Patriots around 2007-08, when Dimitroff, Scott Pioli and others left to take promotions elsewhere.
We certainly hope the Falcons don't lose Vital to another team, let alone a division rival, with a pivotal offseason on the horizon. But it may happen.