McKay signs five-year contract extension

"I'm thrilled," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. "I couldn't be happier. Rich is a seasoned executive in this league. He's represented the NFL really beautifully in Tampa and here in Atlanta for many years, for well over 20 years now."

McKay's new contract runs through June of 2015. Terms were not disclosed.

McKay, 50, is currently in his sixth season as the team president. He was relieved of his general manager duties following the 2007 season.

"There is plenty to do and on the football side, I try to be as supportive as I can working the contracts and working the cap," McKay said. "On the other side of it, the business has gotten a lot bigger and we've got a stadium that we want to focus on. There is plenty to do and the situation that we've created is a really good one. That's what motivates me."

McKay has been heavily involved in helping first-time general manager Thomas Dimitroff manage the salary cap as well as with contract negotiations. He is co-chairman of the league’s powerful competition committee, along with Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher.

McKay handles all business operations for the franchise, including community relations, human resources, retail, marketing, finance, ticket sales and football communications.

He will also continue to serve as Atlanta's liaison with the NFL office regarding all football and business-related matters.

The team is currently looking at stadium options for the future.

"He is going to be responsible for our efforts as we move forward for a new stadium over the next number of years," Blank said. "He's been a great partner. He's a great believer of our culture and supporter of our culture. Associates inside the building love working for him."

Over the last two seasons McKay has been linked to other front office openings around the league. Cleveland received permission to talk to McKay last season.

"I've been in the league long enough to where I know a good situation," McKay said. "This is a very good situation, given the commitment that ownership has to winning, given the environment that we've created in the building. I feel very comfortable that this is a good spot to be in the long run, one in which we'll win a lot of games. That motivates me."

In hasn't all been smooth sailing for McKay during his tenure with the team, which began in  2004.

He oversaw the team through the tumultuous Michael Vick federal dog-fighting scandal and played a key role in the hiring of failed head coaches Jim Mora and Bobby Petrino.

Also, McKay's drafts and free agent signings were not spectacular. Cornerback Jimmy Williams, the team's top pick in 2006, is out of football. Jamaal Anderson, the No. 8 overall pick in2007, is solid but has been outperformed by players like San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who were selected later in the first round.

McKay's four drafts have produced six starters and just one Pro Bowler, wide receiver Roddy White.

McKay did pull off the trade for John Abraham in 2006, but that was a year after the team signed the long departed Ed Hartwell to a six-year, $26.5-million contract as unrestricted free agent in 2005.

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