The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to hire their clear-cut top head coaching candidate in Lovie Smith, but they weren’t able to lure their top GM candidate to replace Mark Dominik. Kansas City Chiefs executive Chris Ballard is one of the most highly respected front office workers in the business, and he would have been a great hire for the Buccaneers, especially since he and Smith used to work together with the Chicago Bears. The Chiefs had different ideas, as John Dorsey and the organization barred the Buccaneers from poaching Ballard away, and so the Bucs are back to looking at other candidates.
There are a few interesting front office workers out there deserving of a promotion to GM with another organization, and it looks like the Buccaneers are zeroing in on two of those guys. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Buccaneers will interview Tennessee Titans Vice President of Player Personnel Lake Dawson and Atlanta Falcons Director of Player Personnel Lionel Vital, who was promoted to that role last offseason after the excellent David Caldwell took the Jacksonville Jaguars GM job.
Vital looks poised to join Caldwell as a very bright Falcons director of personnel to become a GM in sunny Florida, and hiring Vital would definitely take a great football mind out of a rival’s front office. Interviews with both Dawson and Vital have been in the works for several days now, and the Buccaneers will get to talk to both today.