While it doesn’t automatically guarantee Caldwell will be back with Detroit next season, it will close speculation the coach was in the final year of his contract. Caldwell has fielded questions, telling media (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press) he hadn’t signed an extension, about his contract but did not disclose this deal was already in place.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter) the sides agreed to this deal in the spring.
Although Caldwell wasn’t hired by current Lions GM Bob Quinn, he has steered the team to playoff appearances in two of his first three seasons at the helm. The Lions backed into the NFC bracket last season, losing their final three games, but it was the franchise’s first time booking two postseason berths in a three-year span since making the playoffs in 1997 and ’99.
Speculation existed about a Caldwell/Lions parting due to last season’s stretch-run swoon and one-sided wild-card loss to the Seahawks, and the fact Quinn did not select him as coach. While Jeff Fisher‘s 2016 Rams extension helped show how tenuous these agreements can be, Quinn’s enjoyed more success in the Motor City than Fisher did in St. Louis and Los Angeles. That could buy him more time, and there will now be money on his deal past 2017.
Quinn has now authorized 2017 extension for two franchise centerpieces he inherited, with this deal preceding Matthew Stafford‘s August re-up.
The Lions have since started 2-0 this season and are alone atop the NFC North.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.