Thomas Dimitroff named NFL’s executive of the year

Thomas Dimitroff on the NFL Network set down at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.

Thomas Dimitroff on the NFL Network set down at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was named the NFL’s executive of the year by the Sporting News on Wednesday.

The magazine surveyed 47 general managers, assistant general managers,  owners, personnel men and head coaches for the executive of the year award. In voting done before the playoffs, Dimitroff received 13 votes, Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli came in second with eight, and Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik was third with seven.

The Falcons finished 13-3 and won the NFC South last season. Of the Falcons 22 starters, 10 were acquired by Dimitroff via draft, trade or free agency.

Dimitroff’s has attempted to make system-specific drafts that have been augmented by timely trades and free agent signings.

Offensive starters acquired by Dimitroff include quarterback Matt Ryan (draft), left tackle Sam Baker (draft), tight end Tony Gonzalez (trade) and running back Michael Turner (free agency).

Defensive starters by Dimitroff include defensive end Kroy Biermann (draft), defensive tackle Corey Peters (draft), middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (draft), weakside linebacker Mike Peterson (free agent), strong safety William Moore (draft), free safety Thomas DeCoud (draft) and cornerback Dunta Robinson (free agency).

Dimitroff was also named executive of the year by the magazine in 2008.

“I am thrilled for and proud of Thomas and his staff,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said “Winning this award twice in three years is validation and recognition of Thomas’ many contributions not only to building a winning team over his first three seasons, but his unwavering focus and vision for this team’s future. He is truly deserving of this award.”

Under his leadership, the Falcons have posted three consecutive winning seasons for the first time in team history.

Since 2008, Atlanta has posted a 33-15 (.688) record, which is tied for the third best in the NFL over the last three seasons. Additionally, the Falcons have earned playoff berths in two of Dimitroff’s three seasons.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter

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42 comments Add your comment


February 9th, 2011
1:43 pm


February 9th, 2011
1:47 pm

Congrats to TD – (but picking PJ over Clay Matthews will haunt you forever ;)


February 9th, 2011
1:59 pm

The NFL Draft returns to primetime in 2011, with the first round taking place Thurs., April 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the second and third rounds on Fri., April 29 at 6 p.m. ET. Rounds 4-7 will be held Sat., April 30 at 10 a.m. ET. Watch the entire draft live on NFL Network.


February 9th, 2011
2:03 pm

Draft order

Carolina (2-14)
Denver (4-12)
Buffalo (4-12)
Cincinnati (4-12)
Arizona (5-11)
Cleveland (5-11)
San Francisco (6-10)
Tennessee (6-10)
Dallas (6-10)
Washington (6-10)
Houston (6-10)
Minnesota (6-10)
Detroit (6-10)
St. Louis (7-9)
Miami (7-9)
Jacksonville (8-8)
New England – from Oakland (8-8)
San Diego (9-7)
New York Giants (10-6)
Tampa Bay (10-6)
Kansas City* (10-6)
Indianapolis* (10-6)
Philadelphia* (10-6)
New Orleans* (11-5)
Seattle* (7-9)
Baltimore* (12-4)
Atlanta* (13-3)
New England* (14-2)
Chicago* (11-5)
New York Jets* (11-5)
Pittsburgh* (12-4)
Green Bay* (10-6)

Ron "CHOKE" Mexico

February 9th, 2011
2:07 pm

All you hater’s, the awards just keep coming, everyone else recognizes the truth, time to get on board.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajc sports editor, Hot About NFL, Mark Galvin, Bart Burnett, Matthew Tolan and others. Matthew Tolan said: RT @ajcsportseditor: #Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff rewarded for great season with #NFL executive of the year honor [...]

The Truth

February 9th, 2011
2:10 pm

Hi Ron,
I hear that you would like people to recognize me. I look exactly like zero playoff wins in Mike Smith’s tenure.

The Truth


February 9th, 2011
2:17 pm

With all do respect, that should have gone to Ted Thompson from Green Bay. This team had injury issues all year and still won three road playoff games on its road to a Super Bowl title. That speaks directly to the personnel staff’s ability to stockpile good players (depth). It appears that the Sporting News has been drinking the Thomas Dimitroff “The Patriot Way” Kool-aid bigtime! I just don’t see this one at all. A good GM, but not the best this year. Sorry for telling like it is.


February 9th, 2011
2:30 pm

Thomas Dimitroff has done a great job weeding out the baggage and drafting fairly well in 2008. I agree with an earlier responce, Perria Jerry before Clay Matthews? …Don’t know what to think of Weatherspoon at this point. Believe we passed on B.J. Raji as well. This year will define Dimitroff if he drafts winners. Oh Yeah, word of advise…Get rid of Bobby “Sleaze Bag” Petrino’s Jamaal Anderson please? Keep your eye on Chris Owens…Not impressed at all!!!


February 9th, 2011
2:39 pm

Clay Matthews was drafted before the Falcons picked as was B.J. Raji.


February 9th, 2011
2:41 pm

This years draft will say a lot about T.D.. We have a slew of free agents and some tough decisions will need to be made on the offensive side of the ball.

We need help at W.R., T.E., R.B., and half of the OL are free agents…


February 9th, 2011
2:43 pm

Exactly what moves did TD make THIS SEASON that he should be recognized with this award?


February 9th, 2011
2:43 pm

I believe that the reason we passed on Raji was due to off-the-field-issues. He failed a drug test during the combine. The Jerry choice was to fill a defensive line hole. Hopefully, Jerry will turn out to be a solid player. Unfortunately, it’s likely that Matthews will turn out to be a better linebacker than Jerry will be a lineman.


February 9th, 2011
2:43 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brennen Unrein, Atlanta Falcons, David Beard, dusty schmidt, Kyle Whitlock and others. Kyle Whitlock said: RT @AJCFalcons: Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff named NFL’s executive of the year [...]

Still a critic

February 9th, 2011
2:55 pm

The NFL throws the Falcons a bone.
Why was the sub for the nickel back so crummy?
Packers won the Superbowl with practically their 2nd team and were loaded at WR.
All those injured guys back next year.
Game over.


February 9th, 2011
2:57 pm

I have to give credit where credit is due: The NEW Atlanta Falcons achieve better records than their previous counterparts who made losing an art form. The NEW Atlanta Falcons can win GM of the Year, Coach of the Year, Assistant Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Offensive and Defensive player of the week, and even Offensive and Defensive Player of the month. The NEW Atlanta Falcons can even load the Pro Bowl up with players. Something that the old Atlanta Falcons never could do. 1 thing that they can do like the OLD Atlanta Falcons (or should I say not do) is win any TEAM awards that will sooth the wounds of the 44 year fans.

I have not watched any football or looked at anything related to football since that massacre at the GA dome. I’m really trying to get it out of my life because the 1 team that I love (I LIKE the Hawks, Braves, Bulldogs, and Yellow Jackets but I don’t love them) obviously doesn’t care as much as I, and alot of other fans, do.

The one thing I can’t understand is that I hear everyone’s name called as a reason the NEW Atlanta Falcons got the “s” kicked out of them, from the award winning front office, to the award winning coaches, and even down to the award winning and pro-bowl laden players. But as bad as Matt Ryan played in some of the games that the Falcons won, down to his worst stinker ever, why is he never blamed for the loss? Why does he get a pass? Yeah, I know why the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons as an organization does it, but why do the fans turn a blind eye to his poor play? All you hear is that he led the Falcons to 13 victories single handedly. How he, through no help of his teammates, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Why is that? I’m the only 1 who has been cringing at those sideline passes that have been getting by by a hair, or getting tipped by the defender, and even picked off (PIT and SF just to name a few). No one saw the danger in that until he basically helped GB nail our coffin shut. Don’t get me wrong, we were already dead. The coaches, management, and the media, ignored the signs just to make him out to be something that he was not. Believe me, some fans saw it and above all, most of the players saw it, but to call out Matt Ryan and make him part of the actual team like the other 52 is considered blasphemy all over the world of NFL football.


February 9th, 2011
3:15 pm

I am a diehard Falcons fan but Thomas Dimitroff was NOT Executive of the Year.


February 9th, 2011
3:19 pm

Don’t forget that the “New Falcons” have won thier division and broke the never-won-back-to-back-seasons record. Now they have three winning seasons in a row. Something that I am grateful for.
The New Falcons will now have to take the next step and win in the playoffs. It is the direction that we are going in that impresses me as a fan and gives me more hope than ever that our beloved Falcons are on the way to being a perenniel winner rather than a perenniel celler dweller.
Matt Ryan isn’t as good as Aaron Rogers, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. He is a lot better than most starting QB’s in the NFL though. Plus he is learning and improving.
Gotta love the direction Matt Ryan and these Atlanta Falcons are going.


February 9th, 2011
3:25 pm

Crap………He’ll be back in New England the first time that job comes open. He’ll be target #1

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 9th, 2011
3:28 pm

The magazine surveyed 47 general managers, assistant general managers, owners, personnel men and head coaches for the executive of the year award. In voting done before the playoffs, Dimitroff received 13 votes, Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli came in second with eight, and Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik was third with seven.


February 9th, 2011
3:33 pm

Buccaneers have really turned their program around. Good to see that Dominik got some recognition for what they have done.

What's Important

February 9th, 2011
3:35 pm

HarvardBlue, what is the real reason you don’t like Matt Ryan. The reasons (excuses) you gave are simply not backed up by facts. Matt Ryan is not perfect, but he is a very good quarterback. Every sports talk radio I hear in the area cuts Matt Ryan no slack when he screws up and Matt Ryan cuts himself even less. What has happened is that under Matt Ryan’s tenure we have had three back-to-back winning seasons (which never happened under the supposedly most talented quarterback and footballer in the world, which I would guess is one of the reasons you don’t like Matt Ryan), we have had no off-field issues and we have a united team with competent leadership, again something that we did not have in the past. Matt Ryan has played three years, given time he will continue to work on his issues and the team can work on getting players in the right positions so that Matt Ryan can play to his strengths. I for one am enjoying these years as an Atlanta Falcon fan, especially without having to be ashamed of the conduct of our players. We will eventually get to the promised land, but I’m sure you’ll still find reasons to critize then, because your problem is bitterness, not Matt Ryan’s play.

Ron "CHOKE" Mexico

February 9th, 2011
3:48 pm

HarvardBlue, The packers never punted, unless Ryan suddenly started playing Defense in that game, I don’t see how you can blame him for the loss

Ron "CHOKE" Mexico

February 9th, 2011
3:51 pm

Birddirty, sporting news didn’t pick him, other GM’s did

Ron "CHOKE" Mexico

February 9th, 2011
3:53 pm

2 out of the 3 years, with 32 GM’s in the league, TD is voted the best by his peers, and the experts on this blog disagree, LMAO! You know you’re right and they’re wrong!

Smiling Jack

February 9th, 2011
4:31 pm

How can a General Manager be criticized for passing on a player (s) who have been previously drafted before his turn to draft? If the players are unavailable, then the Falcons GM cannot draft. It’s the experts on this blogg that slay me.

Greg's Brezina

February 9th, 2011
4:31 pm

if they voted now after the playoffs, Ted Thompson(Packers GM) would win the NFL Executive of the year in a landslide. Thompson grabbed Aaron Rodgers with like the 20th pick in the draft, got BJ Raji and Clay Matthews in the same draft – Matthews an absolute steal – and has the deepest team in the NFL with the likes of Desmond Bishop, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Frank Zombo and Andrew Quarles who came in and filled in admirably for the 16 players the Packers had that went on IR this past season.

As much as I like Thomas Dimitroff, its not even close….

Smiling Jack

February 9th, 2011
4:38 pm

Poor me, HarvardBlue..just a bitterness eats the spirit, a cancer eats a body. To bad there’s no help for HarvardBlue until he gets over the pity party. It’s just a game, folks!


February 9th, 2011
4:39 pm

Dimitroff DID pick Jerry before Clay Matthews, but he did NOT pass on Raji. Below is the results of that draft. Remember at that time, the D-line was priority number 1 and we had already passed up a chance at that guy from LSU the year prior so that we could take Matt Ryan.

2009 Draft 1st Round (Peria Jerry Selection)

(1) Lions Stafford, Matthew QB 6′2″ 225 Georgia
(2) Rams Smith, Jason OT 6′5″ 309 Baylor
(3) Chiefs Jackson, Tyson DE 6′4″ 295 LSU
(4) Seahawks Curry, Aaron OLB 6′2″ 254 Wake Forest
(5) Jets (From Browns) Sanchez, Mark QB 6′2″ 227 Southern Cal
(6) Bengals Smith, Andre OT 6′4″ 332 Alabama
(7) Raiders Heyward-Bey, Darrius WR 6′2″ 210 Maryland
(8) Jaguars Monroe, Eugene OT 6′5″ 309 Virginia
(9) Packers Raji, B.J. DT 6′2″ 337 Boston College
(10) 49ers Crabtree, Michael WR 6′2″ 215 Texas Tech
(11) Bills Maybin, Aaron DE 6′4″ 249 Penn State
(12) Broncos Moreno, Knowshon RB 5′11″ 217 Georgia
(13) Redskins Orakpo, Brian DE 6′3″ 263 Texas
(14) Saints Jenkins, Malcolm CB 6′0″ 204 Ohio State
(15) Texans Cushing, Brian OLB 6′3″ 243 Southern Cal
(16) Chargers English, Larry DE 6′2″ 274 Northern Illinois
(17) Buccaneers (From Jets through Browns) Freeman, Josh QB 6′6″ 248
(18) Broncos (From Bears) Ayers, Robert LB 6′3″ 272 Tennessee
(19) Eagles (From Buccaneers through Browns) Maclin, Jeremy WR 6′0″ 198 Missouri
(20) Lions (From Cowboys) Pettigrew, Brandon TE 6′5″ 263 Oklahoma State
(21) Browns (From Eagles) Mack, Alex C 6′4″ 311 California
(22) Vikings Harvin, Percy WR 5′11″ 192 Florida
(23) Ravens (From Patriots) Oher, Michael OT 6′5″ 309 Mississippi
(24) Falcons Jerry, Peria DT 6′2″ 299 Mississippi
(25) Dolphins Davis, Vontae CB 5′11″ 203 Illinois
(26) Packers (From Ravens through Patriots) Matthews, Clay OLB 6′3″ 240 Southern Cal
(27) Colts Brown, Donald RB 5′10″ 210 Connecticut
(28) Bills (From Panthers through Eagles) Wood, Eric C 6′4″ 310 Louisville
(29) Giants Nicks, Hakeem WR 6′1″ 212 North Carolina
Pick Analysis: null
(30) Titans Britt, Kenny WR 6′3″ 218 Rutgers
(31) Cardinals Wells, Chris RB 6′1″ 235 Ohio State
(32) Steelers Hood, Evander

Smiling Jack

February 9th, 2011
4:40 pm

Bitterness eats the spirit as a cancer destroys the body.


February 9th, 2011
4:48 pm

hahahaha….falcon fans so stupid…keep your awards…the LOMBARDI trophy is what matter this award is a joke

Hardy Falcon

February 9th, 2011
4:52 pm



February 9th, 2011
5:10 pm

Still A Critic- Not game over. that’s what everyone said about the Saints when they won too. We beat GB last yr in the reg season and we all know that we played our worst game of the yr against them in the playoffs. the Packers had a great run but they don’t scare me. We have a lot of good young players, we’re not far away from hoisting the Lombardi trophy, and I know we can beat Green Bay to get there.

Loyal Falcon

February 9th, 2011
5:32 pm

Peria Jerry is going to bounce back hard and all you blog experts will see why Dimitroff drafted him. We are going in the right direction. Matt has only been in the league 3 years. Rogers,Rivers,Brees,Brady,Manning(both) have been in the league at least 6 years. Give Matt 3 more years or even 2 and see where he’ll be ranked. He’s gonna be just fine. I think our young team all around will be better next year. I trust TD!


February 9th, 2011
7:22 pm

DLed, Congrats on being selected as a HoF voter. Are you planning any columns on your ballot and your thoughts/reasons for your votes? I think that would be an interesting read


February 9th, 2011
8:09 pm

Love Dimitroff, but I’m really scratching my head over this one. His fellow managers obviously hold him in high regard (more than some of our “fans”) but specifically, what moves did he make that impressed the voters? Hindsight is great when you’ve had a year to see these guys playing pro ball but the draft is a crapshoot at worst and “educated guesses” at best. I hope the league and union agree soon and that TD is more active in Free Agency over the next few months…..


February 9th, 2011
8:54 pm

When Peria Jerry has a monster year next year you fools cant say anything. Keep an eye an Spencer Adkins to win one of the outside linebacking spots in camp

Loyal Falcon

February 9th, 2011
10:36 pm

My boy Grimey is going to be even better this coming season!

No Greg's Brezina

February 9th, 2011
11:05 pm

Greg’s Brezina – Did you really say Aaron Rodgers, BJ Raji and Clay Matthews Jr. were in the same draft class. I don’t believe such ignorance is even worth repeating, anyone can come on the blog and spew nonsense like you have done. Rodgers was drafted 24th in 2005 Raji and Matthews are in their second year, meaning they were drafted in 2009.


February 10th, 2011
9:26 am

Good job td, we have a good team now its time to get some studs at some key spots and we can have a trophy next year. We need another strong draft and free agency to get over the hump but i am sure you will do it.


February 10th, 2011
12:01 pm

@Harvard. I understand and still agree that no one holds Ryan accountable for anything. Its evident in these blogs. Guys, he is a decent QB, maybe even top ten in the league BUT he obviously isnt quite what everyone wants to put him on the pedestal as. TD did the right thing by drafting a QB and Ryan was the best one available at the time. I wont take away what Ryan has done, but I also am not naive enough to think he cant improve…A LOT. In this 4th year, I dont want to hear any excuses for Matty The Ice Melted against the Frozen Tundra Warriors. If TD has a good draft w/o any injury prone guys this year, he’ll be solidified as one of the better up and coming football minds in the league.