The trade deadline has come and gone. In all likelihood, as Jeff Schultz at The Athletic suggested last night on Falcons Central Radio (around the 7:45 mark), Dan Quinn’s fate and possibly the fates of other members of the coaching staff has already been decided, and all that remains is a question of timing. No one but Arthur Blank knows what that timing will be, but the deadline going by without any deals probably doesn’t bode well for either Quinn or Thomas Dimitroff.
It was Schultz who wrote earlier this week that the team may have delayed what otherwise would have been a sensible time to move on—a bye week gives you extra preparation time for an interim head coach, after all—because Quinn and Dimitroff would be heavily involved in trade discussions. The Falcons did swing a very nice deal with the Patriots for Mohamed Sanu, snagging a second round pick in the process, but despite plenty of buzz around names like Vic Beasley and Desmond Trufant, they simply didn’t get anything done at the actual deadline.
So what does that mean for Quinn and Dimitroff, then?
Let’s start with Quinn. The reasons to fire him are actually fairly limited at the moment unless you’re looking to install a coach who brings a different philosophy to bear or is willing to shake up the lineup. The latter is as good a reason as any, because as I’ve been arguing for the past couple of weeks, a team dead in the water should absolutely be getting a longer look at promising young players who might be a part of the future, especially at the expense of veterans on expiring deals who almost certainly will not return. That said, I think a crushing loss to a division rival, whether it be the Panthers, Saints, or Buccaneers, will probably provide Blank the impetus he needs to finally make the move, meaning he could be gone in a week or two.
Dimitroff’s status is less clear, but I also can’t see him surviving this go-around. The polarizing general manager and his staff have set the franchise up with their brightest stars, including Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Deion Jones and Grady Jarrett, but they’ve also bogged the team down with unwise contracts now and in the past, and the draft classes that propelled the team to its 2016 and 2017 heights are returning less and less as time goes on. Dimitroff also unwisely made himself more visible this offseason, including a meant-to-be-reassuring video about the return of Matt Bryant that aged extremely poorly. Dimitroff will go down as this team’s longest-tenured and most successful executive, in all likelihood, but this is the right time to bring in a new face and new ideas, and I’m 99% sure Blank agrees on that one.
I find it amazing that this video has somehow become an even worse idea over time. https://t.co/mWwedQlNI3— Schauboholic Matt (@FalcoholicMatt) October 29, 2019
By season’s end at the latest and likely sooner, then, Quinn will be on his way out and Dimitroff likely won’t be far beyond him. I’ll always be grateful for the best years of Quinn’s tenure and certainly the Ring of Honor-caliber (if not Hall of Fame, in Julio and Ryan’s cases) talent Dimitroff brought in, but I’m also beyond ready for new and hopefully better ideas from the coaching staff and front office.