The search for the new general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is beginning to take shape, and there are reports out that begin to narrow the candidates down and give fans a better idea of who will likely be the man to help build Lovie Smith’s roster for the next few years.
According to Jason Cole, long-rumored candidate and friend of Lovie Smith Chris Ballard is looking less likely to be the next GM of the Buccaeers:
— Jason Cole (@JasonPhilCole) January 8, 2014
Ballard was the first name to come up in association with Smith before he was even named head coach of the Buccaneers, but apparently those connections weren’t enough to draw Ballard to the Tampa Bay front office.
However, around the same time the news on Ballard was reported, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk released a report statins that Lionel Vital would interview for the position.
Vital is currently the director of player personnel for the Falcons, promoted from within to replace the departing David Caldwell. Before going to Atlanta, Vital spent time as a scout in Baltimore, New England, New York (with the Jets) and Cleveland. His time in these places connect him with big names such as Ozzie Newsome, Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick.
His job with the Falcons encompasses draft and free agent preparations, so he’s certainly gained valuable experience during his tenure in Atlanta.