After 11 years in Washington‘s organization, vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith has left to take a similar job with the Atlanta Falcons, becoming the second-highest personnel executive behind new general manager Terry Fontenot.
Smith’s departure comes a year after he was promoted to his current position and helped lead a successful draft and free-agency period for Washington. There had been rumors for several months about his possible departure.
Smith now joins a franchise that has the fourth pick in the draft, a new general manager in Fontenot and a new coach in Arthur Smith.
His future in Washington became clear when the franchise recently hired Martin Mayhew as its general manager and Marty Hurney as the executive vice president of player personnel. Both have extensive experience in the NFL.
Smith was not interviewed for the general manager position; the only internal candidate interviewed by coach Ron Rivera was director of pro personnel Eric Stokes, who joined the team last summer.
One reason Rivera said he was interested in coming to Washington was because of the drafts the team had executed under Smith.
The 36-year-old Smith, who is the son of former Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, drew interest from several teams, a source said, although none were for a general manager’s position.
Smith started as an intern with Washington, and before his promotion in 2020, he spent three years as the director of college scouting. He was an area scout for six years.
Washington also moved on from three scouts, according to sources: director of pro personnel/advance coordinator Jeff Scott, who was promoted to this spot last offseason; national scout Cole Spencer and personnel coordinator/pro scout Brian Zeches.
Last offseason, Washington not only drafted Chase Young with the second pick, but received solid contributions from other rookies such as running back Antonio Gibson from the third round and safety Kam Curl from the seventh. Among the free-agent signings were tight end Logan Thomas, who set a career high with 72 receptions, and running back J.D. McKissic, who caught a career-best 80 passes.
Washington finished 7-9 and won the NFC East.