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McKay will remain Falcons president, relinquish GM role

ATLANTA -- Rich McKay signed a two-year contract extension on Friday to remain the Atlanta Falcons' president, but will relinquish the general manager's duties.

Team spokesman Reggie Roberts confirmed that McKay and owner Arthur Blank agreed to terms earlier in the day.

Since he left Tampa Bay and joined Blank in December 2003, McKay has held dual titles as president-GM. Atlanta had a productive offseason in 2004, but the team has made several poor personnel decisions during the last three years.

McKay also recommended coach Bobby Petrino as a replacement for Jim Mora last January. Petrino stayed just 13 games before suddenly resigning and leaving for Arkansas. The Falcons went 4-12 this season, which was dominated by Michael Vick's federal dogfighting crimes and Petrino's departure.

Blank has enlisted McKay to help interview candidates for the vacant head coach and general manager jobs.

Two GM candidates, Packers personnel chiefs Reggie McKenzie and John Schneider, met with Blank and McKay earlier this week. Eagles GM Tom Heckert is supposed to interview this weekend. Two coaching candidates, Cowboys assistants Jason Garrett and Tony Sparano, met with Blank and McKay on Friday in Dallas. The Falcons also have interviewed San Francisco assistant Mike Singletary and Indianapolis assistant Jim Caldwell.

Atlanta has missed the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, finishing a combined 19-29 since advancing to the NFC title game three years ago.

Before entering his final full season with Tampa Bay in 2002, McKay signed a six-year contract extension worth $2.4 million per season. The Buccaneers went on to win the Super Bowl, but McKay's testy relationship with coach Jon Gruden led to his departure in Week 14 of 2003.

McKay's original deal with Atlanta covered six years and was worth as much as $17 million.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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