Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network's NFL GameDay First on Sunday that members of the Falcons' coaching staff believe that even winning the division with a 7-9 record wouldn't necessarily save Smith's job. Now he and Atlanta finish the year at 6-10 with no January football to be played.
Atlanta has retained a search firm in the event they fire their coach and/or general manager Thomas Dimitroff, Rapoport reported, per a source close to the situation. No decisions have been made, though.
Smith finished his seventh year as Falcons coach with a 66-46 record but was just 10-22 in the last two seasons.
However, the offseason "toughness" mantra didn't take hold. Narrowly losing a division with a sub-.500 record isn't something owner Arthur Blank appears ready to hand out extensions for.
The Falcons have played better the last few weeks to put themselves in a position to make the playoffs. But they couldn't score another win to reinforce the effort to save their coaching staff's jobs.
Other coaches sitting on the NFL hot seat:
Cutting loose the staff could also include moving on from GM Phil Emery in a full house-cleaning move.