The culture that general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith have instilled in the Falcons organization cannot be understated. The two made short work of stepping out of the shadow of the 2007 season, bringing winning back to the Falcons along with a standard of excellence that the top franchises in the league share.
Look no further than the trade to get Tony Gonzalez in 2009 — certainly a watershed moment for the organization. Gonzalez’s willingness to come to Atlanta and his recognition of it as a franchise on the rise (pun intended) was a major sign that things were really being turned around.
The teams were judged on five categories, including: fairness in contract negotiations, open, honest and direct communication about clients, injury settlements, medical care and the business decisions that go along with it and the development of young players.
That’s an important reputation to have, with free agency right around the corner. Dimitroff has been no stranger to bringing in big names when he’s felt the need to, and it appears there’s no hesitation on the part of players and athletes alike to make Atlanta a top destination.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that the team named the most trusted by that sampling of agents was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who boast the services of David Caldwell as general manager. Caldwell learned under Dimitroff from 2008 until he was hired by Jacksonville in 2012.
JOHNSON BACK AT WORK
The Falcons are taking a much-needed break before offseason training really amps up in March, but tackle Mike Johnson is getting back to work after a leg injury he suffered during 2013 training camp.
Johnson tweeted Tuesday morning that he’s back at the team’s headquarters in Flowery Branch to start working on 2014 after the injury kept him out of the entire 2013 season.
Back in the branch today ready to get 2014 jump started..
— Mike Johnson (@MPJohnson79) January 14, 2014