CBS Sports Jason La Canfora first reported that Atlanta Falcons director of player personnel Lionel Vital was under consideration to become the next general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pro Football Talk indicates that interest has taken the next step as Vital will interview for the vacant position. No reports yet on when said interview will be conducted.
Vital was first hired by the Falcons in May 2008, but was promoted to his current position a year ago after the hiring of David Caldwell by the Jacksonville Jaguars to be their GM. Vital’s name was first indicated a year ago to be one of the potentially hot names entering 2014:
He was a candidate a year ago for the GM position for an expansion CFL team in Ottawa.
Vital has an extensive scouting history, with connections not only to Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, but also to Baltimore Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Prior to landing with the Falcons, Vital served three seasons under Newsome as a national scout in Baltimore. Before that, he was a member of the Patriots front office for five seasons mainly as an assistant director of college scouting, where he worked closely with Dimitroff and Belichick. Vital was a scout for the New York Jets from 1997-99 where he scoured the southeast region of the U.S. He also served as a scout under Belichick with the Cleveland Browns from 1991-95. Prior to his stints as an NFL scout, Vital was a personnel director with the Montreal Machine of the World League of American Football in the early 90s after a brief stint as a running back with the Washington Redskins (1987).