Lions Notes: GM/HC Search, Stafford, Wood

Lions president Rod Wood confirmed recently hired exec Chris Spielman is involved in the team’s coaching search, and Wood — a self-proclaimed non-football guy — has helped make some football decisions during the team’s time in between GMs, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes. Wood did, however, describe his role as more of a suggestion box or sounding board to the team’s current front office. As far as the Lions’ HC and GM searches, the team’s president offered a vague description of how this search is unfolding differently.

One of the things that I think we’re doing differently that didn’t occur, at least in the searches I was involved in with Bob (Quinn) and Matt (Patricia) is really identifying what we want for a Detroit Lion coach and general manager. Not what some other team may want, but what do the Detroit Lions want?” Wood said, via Birkett. “So we’ve been discussing and detailing a lot of very specific criteria that is unique to us.”

The Lions may well be seeking a scouting type for the GM role, and Albert Breer of SI.com adds Detroit’s next coach would not need to be an offensive genius to land the job. Michigan native Robert Saleh has surfaced as an early frontrunner. Here is the latest from Detroit:

  • The Lions have interviewed eight candidates thus far for their GM position. They are not expected to stop there. The organization expects to venture well beyond 10 interviewees for this role, Breer tweets. Thus far, the Lions have interviewed unattached and internal candidates, with Rick Smith, Scott Pioli and Louis Riddick being the biggest names involved thus far.
  • One of the lower-profile candidates, however, may have some momentum. Rams college scouting director Brad Holmes is expected to be interviewed, and Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets Holmes is viewed as a serious candidate to succeed Quinn. Holmes has been with the Rams for 18 years. The Lions will have competition, however. The Falcons are also expected to meet with Holmes.
  • Regarding head coach interviews, the Lions have waited. They are not opting to take advantage of a recent NFL rule change that allowed virtual interviews with candidates, Breer tweets. The franchise will then go through the usual search process, which can begin next week.
  • While Matthew Stafford has been the Lions’ QB1 since arriving in 2009, he has been mentioned in trade speculation for a bit now. The next coach hired will be Stafford’s fourth full-time HC, and the next GM will be the third of Stafford’s career. Some in the Lions organization are wondering if Stafford would be willing to be part of another rebuild, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Stafford was involved in trade rumors earlier this year, but Quinn shot down that possibility and kept the 32-year-old passer. With Stafford’s $27MM-per-year contract no longer close to the top of the QB market, teams will be interested in the cannon-armed passer — should the next Lions regime entertain offers. A few AFC teams — like the Broncos, Colts or Patriots — and the 49ers profile as teams that could be interested in the veteran.
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24 comments on “Lions Notes: GM/HC Search, Stafford, Wood

  1. bradthebluefish

    Curious what trading Matt Stafford would get the Lions? Maybe 2 second round picks?

      • Ak185

        I don’t know. Given his age, a first seems a bit high. Second is easy to see, but the NFL is not kind to veterans in terms of draft compensation.

        If a team weighs the cost/benefit of selecting a 1st round rookie versus a few good years of Stafford, most of them I think take the rookie.

    • davidkaner

      Stafford is worthy of a 1st round and it could spark a bidding war. Denver has pieces at WR TE RB decent OL. They could get Stafford and use the rest of the draft on Defense.

  2. Simmons>Russ

    Although I like Stafford I can’t see teams seeing him and being like “yeap, that’s the man I want” and going after him.
    The draft has multiple good young QBs Lawrence Fields Jones Lance and Trask to name a few. Then you have a FA with Dak at the top then Dalton, Tribisky, Newton, Winston, Haskins and so on.
    Not to mention Wentz possibly on the trade block.

    I can’t see a team being like yeap over all these options I want Stafford and will give up something good. Who would give up a first and more for him? Or even multiple seconds tbh.

    Pats would rather keep picks. Colts can afford to go for Dak or if not use draft or FA. Giants have Jones and if they want competition would take a FA. Jets will either draft one or FA, Jags get Lawrence. Falcons eventually will draft. Carolina not a big enough upgrade.

    • Stafford is better than every free agent you mentioned aside from Dak and Wentz was atrocious this year. If you’re a team that feels like good QB play could make you a playoff team, you would choose Stafford over any of them (again, aside from Dak, but Dak is going to be expensive).

      I do agree that a first rounder is a high price to pay, but he’s the second best QB, by a significant margin, out of the pro QBs you mentioned.

      If Rivers retires, I could see the Colts trying to trade for him.

      • Simmons>Russ

        I more or less meant those FA would suit teams looking for some cheap competition or quality back up.

        Teams that could be interested in a QB:
        Colts: would prefer Dak and if not him then Wentz.
        Washington: Will look to draft one as Smiths contract is to much to look at Stafford.
        Carolina: have Bridgewater, so why give up a good pick for a slight upgrade. I think they draft a future QB and let him sit a year.
        Jets: Still have Darnold on contract for a year and have many needs so will draft a franchise QB not trade picks.
        Giants: might be interested but Jones still has years and time to prove himself would be better off getting someone from FA as competition.
        Pats: Again have lots of other concerns so shouldn’t give up picks, plus BB likes Stidham.
        Broncos: Could be interested but with Lock under contract and with time on his side it would make more sense for some older competition

        Cowboys could be interest if Dak leaves but other than that can’t see many interested.

        • Simmons>Russ

          Jags-Lawrence
          Colts-Dak/Wentz
          WFT-Jones
          Panthers-Fields
          Jets-Lance
          Giants-Winston
          Pats-Stidham
          Broncos-Newton
          Cowboys-Dalton

          • Appalachian_Outlaw

            Stafford is 1000x better than Newton, and would make a ton of sense for Denver. That’s a pretty good football team except for at the QB spot, where they’re probably bottom 5.

            • Simmons>Russ

              He would be better by why would they give up multiple good picks? Stafford isn’t that good and if you have Lock and Newton there’s no point in giving up quality picks

          • I’m not sure why you think the Colts would be more interested in Wentz than Stafford. Wentz was terrible and lost his starting job this year and costs a fortune. If you are going to trade for a QB, Stafford seems like a much better idea. Rivers to Stafford would be a seamless transition. They don’t need a buy-low QB like Wentz, they need an established QB.

            Also, for the sake of Pats fans, they better have a better plan than Stidham. He is horrible.

            And while I would support the idea of getting Winston (I’m a Giants fan), I do not see it happening. I don’t have much to back that up other than a feeling, though.

    • LordBanana

      Every draft has multiple good young QBs, and then after a season it turns out most of them aren’t NFL starter quality

      • Ak185

        This is also a question of cost/years left just as much as it is of production. We could argue who is “better” without regards to system or players extensively, but two elements that are empirical are age and compensation. A draft pick will afford both at least four years at a low cap cost, and also afford a team the chance to shape the pick’s football development.

        Stafford is in his 30s and has taken many hits over his career-despite as good as he has been, and despite how good he is still likely is, not many teams are willing to give up a high pick in a decent quarterback draft for him. Also, Stafford being a vet would certainly bring his own style to the team, which would have to adjust to him more than a rookie. If a team does that, they have to bank on Stafford’s remaining years being worth more than a possible long term rookie pick. You only do that if you think that you’re close enough to competing that it would be better to get an immediate return with Stafford being in competitive shape now versus waiting on a pick to develop.

        Most of that is obvious. So, what teams are there? A contender, or a team within a couple of years of doing so (Stafford likely has at least two, possibly a handful more, of play at a top level), most likely. Also, the team likely would have to be picking low in the round, probably around 15 or later. At that point, the “surefire” QBs are likely gone. This year, however, some interesting prospects like Mac Jones and Kyle Trask will be available, after the obvious Lawrence-Fields-Wilson shakeout. Teams may be less inclined to trade for Stafford after being able to get Jones or Trask.

        What teams would be left? A team looking for a couple of good contending years with their current roster, and not a new franchise QB who missed or chose to not select a rookie pick at that spot. I’m not sure that I have a clear answer there, because I don’t know if there are any. Chicago is obvious, but that’s not certain that Stafford is their man. And if there’s no competitive offer from another team forcing his price up, the Bears won’t give a high pick (especially after giving up so many recently). Would the Raiders do it if Carr gets passed over by Gruden? Very outside chance, but not for more than a second in a near fantastical scenario. Saints? Dunno. They’re committing a lot of money to QBs right now. I just don’t see Stafford squeezing that much in the environment as it stands, at least not more than a third, or possibly second at best. Detroit is likely better off holding him for a year and trying again next year.

  3. If Spielman is as dumb as he sounds calling games, then the Lions are in trouble.

  4. bostonbob

    Patriots you say? No way! Almost finished with one broken down, frequently injured QB. That’s a pass thanks.

  5. hoosierhysteria

    What the Lions want….did the jackass imply they want something other than winning?.. good grief.

  6. tigersfan1320

    Not sure why the lions would give away a QB like stafford. He’s still young enough to be someone to build the team around, and it’s not like they’re going to be able to replace him with someone as good or better in the next 10 years. It is the lions afterall

  7. tmetiva

    I am 60 years old and have watched the Lions my whole life. They are not in a rebuild…it’s just a constant state of being the worst team in the NFL. If Stafford can put up the numbers he did in Detroit, he can help a good team go far.

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