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Arthur Smith: Falcons hired wrong guys if they want a rebuild

Former Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff joins Michael Holley and Michael Smith and says Matt Ryan was his first-ever NFL draft phone call, and the Falcons selecting Kyle Pitts sets the team up for contention.

The Falcons were 4-12 last season, they fired their coach and General Manager during the season, and they were in a tough spot with the salary cap, which led many people to think that they were set to rebuild their roster in their first year with Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot in those roles.

Moves this offseason have sent a different message. The Falcons restructured Matt Ryan’s contract to make it less likely he’ll be going anywhere anytime soon and used their first-round pick on tight end Kyle Pitts, who figures to become a popular target for Ryan right off the bat.

Smith told Peter King that they think Ryan has several years left in him and that the Falcons plan to maximize their chances of winning right now.

“They hired the wrong guys if they thought we were going to lower expectations, take our time, and rebuild,” Smith said, via Football Morning in America. “That’s just not who we are. The expectation is to win now, build for the future, have plans.”

Wide receiver Julio Jones’ place in the Falcons’ plans has been the subject of conversation. They didn’t rework his contract and Fontenot said the team will listen to trade offers for him. Falcons owner Arthur Blank told King that the team is “not required to make a move with him,” but having Pitts on hand could make it less of blow to winning now if they do part ways before September.