No team in the NFL has a record worse than the Lions’ 1-6 mark, but that doesn’t mean Detroit is packing it in for the season. Speaking today in London, general manager Martin Mayhew told reporters, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, that his club won’t go into rebuilding mode at next week’s trade deadline.
“We’re going to be probably more buyers than sellers and we’ve had some dialogue already about some guys around the league,” Mayhew said. “So we’re actively looking at those situations.”
Given the Lions’ record, Mayhew’s comments don’t make a ton of sense. Detroit would have to win just about all of its remaining games to contend for a playoff spot, so the GM insisting that the team is a buyer, rather than a seller, suggests he’s under some pressure to win now. For what it’s worth, Birkett notes that Mayhew “sounded like a man fighting to keep his job” during his conversation with the media.
According to Birkett, Mayhew also addressed the recent coaching changes on the offensive side of the ball, suggesting that former offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and the two offensive line coaches that were let go shouldn’t shoulder all the responsibility for the Lions’ poor season.
“Everybody’s involved in what has happened thus far this season, especially myself,” Mayhew said. “I’m responsible for our football operations, so it is on me what has happened this season. So it certainly is not those three guys (that were fired) are not the problem, they’re not the sole problem. There’s a lot of things we need to do to get better.”
Mayhew, who looked to his watch for effect today when he said that he’s “the GM right now,” has a history of being active on the trade market. In a league that typically doesn’t see many deadline deals, Mayhew has completed three in the last seven years. The Lions GM has also consummated eight trades so far in 2015, so we’ll see if he adds to that total by next Tuesday.