A highly successful businessman, Falcons owner Arthur Blank now has transformed himself into a tireless recruiter.
And once he wraps up those trips, Blank plans to hone in on Eagles general manager Tom Heckert, who would be allowed to leave Philadelphia only because he would be given more decision-making responsibility in Atlanta.
Garrett is one of the hottest, if not the hottest, candidate among NFL assistant coaches. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted in November that he is "very concerned" about losing Garrett to another team. Jones wants to keep Garrett in Dallas as long as possible, but Garrett would like the opportunity to be a head coach, something Blank could provide.
Garrett is said to be intrigued with Blank and the Falcons organization. It is up to Blank, if Garrett is Atlanta's No. 1 choice, to sell him on the franchise and the city. If he does, it would be a coup for Blank, landing the 41-year-old coach who has come with rave reviews from people such as Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman.
But Blank also is going to have to fend off the Ravens, who have compiled a lengthy list of potential candidates, including Garrett. The Ravens faxed a request to the Cowboys on Thursday, seeking permission to interview Garrett. They did the same for Sparano, who has tremendous support within the Cowboys organization.
Making a list
The Ravens spent much of this week in meetings, debating which coaching candidates they should be pursuing to replace Brian Billick, who was fired on Monday.
San Francisco is searching for a new offensive coordinator and the leading candidate is not Mike Martz, who was dismissed Wednesday.
Niners coach Mike Nolan spent five seasons in the late 1980s and early 1990s working with Gailey in Denver. There is a comfort level there between the two men, and Gailey has respect around the league.
The Kansas City Chiefs need an offensive coordinator after firing Mike Solari, and they could opt to take a run at Martz, who wants to coach next season. But if Martz cannot land the right job, he does have a contract with one year remaining on it that Detroit would be obligated to pay.
Payday for Paydirt
Peterson's contract contained a $250,000 incentive for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Peterson would rather trade the incentive for a playoff share, but it was a nice post-Christmas consolation prize.
Any team hoping to rebuild this offseason must address its quarterback position and its scoring defense.
If this past season proved anything, a team must be strong in those two areas to advance to the postseason.
Just look: The top eight scoring defenses and the eight highest-rated quarterbacks all advanced to the postseason.