Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported, which was later confirmed via release by the Falcons that Lionel Vital has been promoted to Director of Player Personnel. Vital was previously titled Associate Director of Player Personnel, and now takes over the vacated position of David Caldwell. Earlier this week, Caldwell was hired to become the new general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars. That position was previously held by Les Snead, who left the Falcons following the 2011 season to become the GM of the St. Louis Rams.
Vital joined the Falcons in following the 2008 draft as the Assistant Director of Player Personnel a week after Caldwell joined the franchise. Prior to joining the Falcons, Vital spent three years with the Baltimore Ravens as a national scout. He worked closely with Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff during their shared time with the New England Patriots, prior to Vital’s stint in Baltimore. Vital was a member of the Patriots front office for five seasons. He also worked with Dimitroff and many of his Patriot cohorts in the early 90s with the Cleveland Browns.
Given the recent pipeline of general managers from Atlanta’s front office, many suspect Vital will be on the short list of top candidates heading in 2014. He’s already been linked to being a candidate for the GM position with the CFL expansion team in Ottawa that begins play next year. Although this promotion likely rules him out there.