Speaking today to WJR-AM in Detroit, new Lions president Rod Wood confirmed that he will “probably” not be involved with the team’s personnel decisions going forward. However, he’ll be involved in managing the salary cap and other financial decisions that affect the franchise, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes.
The football and personnel decisions figure to be handled by the new general manager, and Wood said today that the Lions are “just embarking upon the next steps of that [GM search].” According to Birkett, many league observers believe the club will likely hire a young GM who is one of the candidates formally identified by the NFL. We heard yesterday about a few executives Detroit may be considering.
Here’s more out of Detroit:
- The top candidates for the Lions’ GM job will have questions that need to be answered about the ownership structure and succession plan for the franchise, Birkett notes (via Twitter). However, Wood’s presence doesn’t make the job any less appealing. Birkett suggests that Lions ownership ought to hire someone from the NFL’s GM advisory board as a consultant to help conduct the search and to sit in on interviews with candidates (Twitter link).
- The hiring of Wood, just two weeks after owner Martha Ford promised to conduct “a national serach for the best leadership to manage our team going forward,” doesn’t sit right with Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press, who says Wood’s main qualification for the position is that he has earned the Fords’ trust.
- As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk outlines, the fact that Wood said he “probably” won’t be involved in personnel decisions, rather than dismissing the idea outright, may be a cause for concern. Florio also points out that if Sheila Ford Hamp were to be next in line to take over the franchise, Wood could end up acting as a surrogate owner for a while, since he’s a “close confidante” of Hamp.
- Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com provides five things to know about the Lions’ new president.