FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The first email Terry Fontenot sees every morning comes from the same person. So does the first thing to come across the GM's desk.
Kirsten Grohs assembles this morning briefing, if you will, containing up-to-date figures on the Falcons salary-cap standing, along with other teams across the NFL, and a breakdown of every contract signed the previous day.
Those vital reports provide a microscopic and 30,000-foot view of league activity entering each day, giving Fontenot a clear lay of the NFL landscape.
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"There are so many little details of it, and she does an analysis of every single [deal]," Fontenot said. "She has a sheet where you have every position, every player, every contract, so you can look at market value. This is a daily, detailed, tedious thing. As she's doing that, she's seeing the trends."
That's part of the reason "Falcons manager of football administration" doesn't describe what she does.
Grohs is, in more accurate terms, an NFL market analyst.
She's also the Falcons compliance officer and league liaison for the salary-cap and player-personnel rules. If that sounds like a lot, it's because it is. And Grohs is uniquely qualified for such duties, essential work in helping the Falcons roster get right.
When it comes to player acquisition, she's in charge of breaking down player contracts and putting them in a proper context.
She synthesizes data from around the league and information from other Falcons departments to determine a fair contractual offer to someone the Falcons want to sign or extend. Then she presents that information to Fontenot and Falcons top decision makers, offering insight into how it fits within the Falcons preferred ways of acquiring players.
"It's not just about looking at the historical data and what's going on in the league right now," Fontenot said. "She has to anticipate and look at the trends and where the cap is going, where contracts are going, so we can anticipate. That's a big piece of it. She's the one in the weeds, and that's a really important job."
It's a really important role that executes essential tasks casual football fans don't even know about.
They see a "Falcons sign Grady Jarrett to contract extension" headline and don't consider how that statement became fact.
The process isn't like Jerry Maguire, with agents yelling "Show me the Money!!," and GMs screaming right back while hammering out a deal.
It's often a months-long process of numbers and data and player comps and calm, calculated back-and-forth until a deal gets done (or not).
Grohs is integral to that process, someone helping create clarity so Fontenot and the Falcons can make the best decisions for the organization. And, in more than a year of early-morning emails and detailed reports and sound advice, Fontenot listens when Grohs speaks.
"Some people don't have that candor, where they can be honest in the moment," Fontenot said. "Some will try to acquiesce and tell you what you want to hear. There are some people who are honest regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you feel. She's one of those people. That's what you want. There are times where I say, 'this is what I'd like to do and this is how I see it.' Some people fall in line with your opinion. You need someone who is going to be honest. You need people like that."
Feeling valued, trusted in that way, is a key part of their dynamic.
"I like that he really cares about what my opinion is," she said. "He listens. He's open minded, which I think is huge. There's a sincerity with him that you don't always get. He'll really listen to you."