Falcons owner Arthur Blank has not waited until the light of day to make a change.
Atlanta has fired head coach Arthur Smith, the team announced just after midnight.
Smith compiled a 21-30 record, going 7-10 in each of his three seasons with the Falcons. The club lost to New Orleans 48-17 on Sunday to close the season.
“Decisions like this are never easy and they never feel good,” Blank said in a statement. “We have profound respect for coach Smith and appreciate all the hard work and dedication he has put into the Falcons over the last three years. He has been part of building a good culture in our football team, but the results on the field have not met our expectations.
“After significant thought and reflection, we have determined the best way forward for our team is new leadership in the head coaching position.”
In their release, the Falcons noted that Blank and team CEO Rich McKay will lead the search for the next head coach with input from General Manager Terry Fontenot and “several other appropriate members of Blank’s Atlanta Falcons and AMB Sports and Entertainment organizations.”
Blank and McKay are set to hold a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Fontenot and Smith were hired in the same offseason after Atlanta dismissed Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff during the 2020 season.
There are now four official head coaching vacancies — Falcons, Raiders, Chargers, and Panthers — with more expected to come on Monday.