Bob Quinn

Lions Sign GM Bob Quinn To Extension

The Lions made a big change on the sidelines this year, but they’re going to maintain stability in the front office. On Friday, the Lions announced an extension for GM Bob Quinn.

The contract extension for Bob is most deserving as he continues to lead and improve our football team,” team president Rod Wood said in a press release. “It is also important for our entire organization to ensure stability as we move forward with Matt as our new head coach working in partnership with Bob. Moreover, I greatly enjoy my relationship and partnership with Bob. We both look forward to a bright future for the Detroit Lions.”

The team did not disclose the exact terms of the deal, though the announcement says that “the extension matches the term of head coach Matt Patricia’s new deal with the team.” It is believed that Patricia’s deal goes through the 2022 season, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter). This through-2022 timeline matches Matthew Stafford‘s extension as well.

Quinn, a longtime scout/exec for the Patriots, was hired as the Lions’ GM in January of 2016. He made his first official head-coaching hire this week in appointing Patricia to the post. Predecessor Martin Mayhew hired Jim Caldwell, with whom Quinn worked for two seasons before firing him after the 2017 campaign, but the Quinn/Patricia partnership will be the biggest chance yet to gauge the current exec’s imprint on the franchise.

The Lions now have their quarterback, HC and GM in place for the long haul and will begin work on crafting a strategy aimed at ending a lengthy drought. Detroit’s most recent playoff win came in Barry Sanders‘ third season, 1991. Caldwell’s teams twice made the playoffs, with the 2014 Lions’ effort in Dallas coming closer to victory than the ’16 version did in Seattle, but postseason advancement has eluded the franchise for a generation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants, Lions Request To Interview Matt Patricia

Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was expected to be one of the most highly sought after names in coaching entering 2018. It didn’t take long for that to come to fruition, as the Giants (Twitter link) and Lions (Twitter link) have both submitted requests to interview the Patriots defensive coordinator for their head-coaching vacancies, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Matt Patricia (vertical)

Patricia was also highly coveted entering the 2017 season, with the Rams and Chargers both requesting to interview the 43-year-old coach before going their separate ways.

After spending time as a graduate assistant at Syracuse, Patricia joined the Patriots in 2004 as an offensive assistant. The following year he served as an assistant offensive line coach before making the switch to the defensive side of the ball. He was elevated to defensive coordinator in 2012 and has won two Super Bowls with New England in the six years since.

Though the Giants’ opening is noted as Patricia’s potential landing spot by Schefter, the coach also has ties to Detroit. The Lions general manager Bob Quinn spent more than a decade in New England as scout and in the front office more moving to Detroit in 2016. He is said to be interested in several other Patriots names like Josh McDaniels and former linebacker Mike Vrabel.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Fire Head Coach Jim Caldwell

A day after defeating the Packers, 35-11, to cap their third winning campaign in four seasons, the Lions fired head coach Jim Caldwell, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). Jim Caldwell (Vertical)

Caldwell twice led the team to the postseason, the most playoff trips by a Detroit coach since Bobby Ross in the late-1990s. Despite the regular-season success, Caldwell could not deliver a postseason victory, something that has eluded the Lions for 25 years.

Rapoport also reports (Twitter link) the team is expected to interview highly sought after Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia for the vacant head-coaching position. He also notes Lions general manager Bob Quinn’s New England ties will help in the team’s pursuit of Patricia. Before ascending to GM in Detroit, Quinn spent 15 years in New England as a scout and director of player personnel.

The 62-year-old Caldwell has delivered winning campaigns in five of his eight seasons as a head coach and advanced to the Super Bowl with the Colts. His winning percentage of .562 as Lions head coach is the highest of any full-time coach of the franchise for more than one season since Buddy Parker recorded a 47-23-2 mark and a .671 winning percentage in the 1950s.

The dismissal ends longtime speculation over the future of Caldwell in Detroit. After losing his last three regular-season games and the team’s wildcard matchup with Seattle in 2017, Caldwell was retained and given a contract extension. The terms of the deal, however, were not made available immediately and it was later discovered the extension only covered him through the 2018 campaign.

Instead of firing Caldwell, the team hired Quinn to replace former GM Martin Mayhew. With Caldwell now gone, Quinn is set to hire his first head coach on the job.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Saints, Cards, Seahawks, Packers

With just one year and $3.5MM guaranteed on his Saints contract, Adrian Peterson is far removed from those lavish salaries he collected in his final years with the Vikings. However, the relocated running back can collect some additional cash via incentives — some of which being attached to reasonable figures. The future Hall of Fame back has $2.75MM in incentives tied to various milestones in each of the next two years, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. The 32-year-old running back can collect incentive cash by rushing for 750 yards, scoring at least six touchdowns, or the Saints making the playoffs. Volin doesn’t specify how much each milestone would pay out, but these aren’t outrageous numbers. Peterson scored at least 10 touchdowns in all eight of his seasons that didn’t involve a major September setback. However, with Mark Ingram in the picture, there won’t be as many TD opportunities. Ingram has scored 25 touchdowns over the past three seasons.

Additionally, Volin notes a $750K roster bonus will be tied to Peterson’s 2018 New Orleans employment. That’s rather light compared to the massive $18MM option that was tied to the 2017 season on Peterson’s Vikings contract. But a Saints return in what would be Peterson’s age-33 season in ’18 likely hinges on the running back’s health.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC.

  • The Cardinals are following through with their idea to flip their starting tackles. Jared Veldheer will move to right tackle, while third-year man D.J. Humphries‘ future will be on the left side. Veldheer initially voiced opposition to the move, one broached by OC Harold Goodwin, immediately after the 2016 season concluded, Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals.com notes. But the career left tackle is on board now. Humphries played left tackle at Florida and parlayed that performance into a first-round Cardinals draft selection in 2015.
  • Packers rookie linebacker Vince Biegel broke his foot, and the ensuing surgery leaves him questionable to be ready by the start of training camp, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter and Rob Demovsky report. The intent of this operation, done last week, was to repair a Jones fracture that also plagued him last season at Wisconsin, Demovsky writes. The latest in a slew of mid-round Packers ‘backer picks, hasn’t had a smooth transition into the NFL. A hand injury briefly sidelined him at rookie camp last weekend.
  • Speaking of positioning, the Saints sound like they might be willing to try Stephone Anthony at middle linebacker again. The Saints moved their underwhelming 2015 first-rounder to the strong side last year, but new linebackers coach Mike Nolan said middle ‘backer suits Anthony best, Herbie Teope of NOLA.com notes. Anthony led the Saints in tackles as a rookie but was moved outside and then benched in 2016. And New Orleans added inside linebackers in Manti Te’o and A.J. Klein this offseason, complicating Anthony’s path back to playing time.
  • The Seahawks used a sixth-round pick on Cincinnati safety Mike Tyson, but those rooting for the menacingly named defender to double as a hard-hitting back-line option in the Legion of Boom may be disappointed. Tyson was practicing at cornerback during the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp, according to Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. Although, the 6-foot-2 defensive back drew a Byron Maxwell comparison from Pete Carroll, so that’s a good start for a player who might be changing positions.
  • The Lions‘ second-round Teez Tabor investment came after GM Bob Quinn watched more film on the Florida corner than he has on any prospect during his 15-year evaluation career, Nate Atkins of MLive.com notes. The second-year Detroit GM estimated he watched about 14 Gators games with the primary purpose to see if Tabor played faster than his 4.62-second 40-yard dash clocking.

NFC Coaching Notes: Panthers, Rams, Redskins, Lions

The Panthers have officially named Steve Wilks as their new defensive coordinator. Following the loss of former defensive coordinator Sean McDermott earlier this week, it was reported that the team was planning on promoting their assistant head coach/secondary coach to the open position. Wilks joined the Panthers organization in 2012.

The new defensive coordinator held a press conference earlier today, where he revealed that he’d be retaining his entire defensive coaching staff (via Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer on Twitter). The team still needs to hire a secondary coach following the promotion of Wilks.

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from the NFC…

  • The Rams are expected to keep special teams coach John Fassel, reports Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News (via Twitter). Fassel has been with the organization since 2012, and he served as the Rams’ interim head coach following the firing of Jeff Fisher.
  • The Redskins may have lost offensive coordinator Sean McVay, but they’re not planning on losing anyone else on their offensive staff. The Redskins are expected to retain all of their offensive assistant coaches, reports ESPN.com’s John Keim. Following the Ramshiring of Wade Phillips as their defensive coordinator, there were rumors that tight ends coach Wes Phillips may leave to join McVay and his dad in Los Angeles. However, Keim notes that the Rams would have to request an interview with anyone on the Redskins coaching staff.
  • The decision to retain head coach Jim Caldwell was made before the Lions clinched a playoff berth, general manager Bob Quinn told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I really believe in his approach to managing the team, how he practices the team, how he maintains the health of the team,” Quinn said. “So, listen, winning nine games is good. It’s not good enough. But I felt really comfortable with the way things went this year. I’m looking forward to 2017 with Jim.”
  • The Eagles are interested in interviewing Rams passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Mike Groh for their wide receivers coach vacancy, reports ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). The former quarterback coached the Bears wideouts for three seasons before joining the Rams last year.

NFC Rumors: Stanton, JPP, Lions, Packers

Along with his scene-stealing sideline celebration against the Seahawks last season, Drew Stanton is best known for helping the Cardinals to the 2014 playoffs after Carson Palmer tore his ACL. But Arizona may be entertaining the idea of Stanton succeeding the 36-year-old Palmer as the starter when his career concludes.

Stanton told Alex Marvez of Fox Sports (Twitter link) he’s spoken with the Cardinals’ brass about having the chance to start once Palmer retires. That influenced the 32-year-old reserve’s decision to re-sign with the team, Marvez reports.

Signed to a two-year, $6.5MM deal, Stanton said earlier this offseason the Cowboys, Colts, Dolphins and Titans showed interest in bringing him aboard as a backup. He started eight games for the Cardinals in 2014, piloting them to a 5-3 record.

Here’s the latest from around the NFC.

  • The Giants brought back Jason Pierre-Paul on a one-year, $10MM contract, but Paul Schwartz of the New York Post believes the former first-team All-Pro would have commanded a megadeal similar to Olivier Vernon‘s with either Big Blue or another team had the fireworks accident not derailed his career on July 4, 2015. Pierre-Paul put together a 12.5-sack season in 2014 and was offered a $60MM pact as a franchise-tagged player before recording just one sack in eight games during a ’15 campaign defined by his hand injury.
  • As of Sunday, the Lions hold more than $14MM in cap space, and Bob Quinn told Sirius XM Radio (via Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com) the team may not be done adding help this offseason. “I think there’s a chance that we could add some players here between now and (the start of training camp),” Quinn said. “… There are certain veteran free agents that we have spoken to over the last couple months that we’re keeping tabs on. I’m never going to say never about acquiring a good player.” Detroit’s roster sits at 89 players. The Lions hosted Anquan Boldin on a visit last month, and PFR’s Dallas Robinson reported Denarius Moore worked out for the team this offseason as well. Roster Resource reveals a potential need at defensive end as well, with Devin Taylor and Wallace Gilberry competing for a spot opposite Ziggy Ansah.
  • When Dom Capers assessed the Packers‘ inside linebacker position, he included Jake Ryan, Sam Barrington and Blake Martinez as the candidates to step in this season, Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Green Bay’s DC omitted Carl Bradford in this discussion after the linebacker who was given a chance to win a job in 2015 ended up on the practice squad. The Packers appear to be slotting their fourth-round picks from the past two drafts — Ryan and Martinez — into position to earn the spots. Cohen notes this is likely the final chance for Bradford, their 2014 fourth-rounder, to make an impact in Green Bay.
  • Although the Bears ended up claiming Connor Shaw earlier this week, the Seahawks attempted to add the ex-Browns passer to a thin stable of backup options.

Extra Points: Lions, Rams, Eagles, Draft

Lions GM Bob Quinn came into the offseason searching for offensive line help, but he didn’t spend big in that department in free agency. Ultimately, Quinn says that he didn’t think he could have gotten decent bang for his buck (link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). “I didn’t see the value in the players that were getting signed to the contracts that they were getting from other teams, so I backed off,” Quinn said.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NFL…

  • The Rams are insisting they’re fine with Case Keenum as their quarterback, and the Eagles are looking hard at first-round QB prospects, but Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com isn’t sold on either stance, suggesting that Los Angeles ought to draft a signal-caller early and that Philadelphia doesn’t need to.
  • NFL decision-makers aren’t in love with the 2016 tight end class, and the lack of depth at the position may result in some TE prospects being drafted earlier than expected, says Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link).
  • How likely are teams to pick up fifth-year options for their 2013 first-round draftees? Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports examines all 32 players selected in the 2013 first round to determine whether their options are locks, non-starters, or somewhere in between.
  • In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Field Yates identifies several projected 2017 free agents who could put themselves in line for big contracts with strong 2016 performances, including Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin and Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.

Lions Notes: Megatron, Ngata, Quinn, Levy

Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is expected to retire this offseason, but it’s not a done deal yet. Appearing on 105.1 FM in Detroit on Thursday morning, Lions president Rod Wood said that the team is still waiting on a final decision from Megatron, as Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions outlines.

“We’re staying in touch with him,” Wood said of Johnson. “I talked to him Monday, and [GM] Bob Quinn talked to him, so get that out there. Bob has spoken to Calvin. Calvin has not made a decision…. We’re going to give him time to think about what he wants to do. If he wants to come back, we’d, obviously, love to have him back. If he decides to retire, we’re going to support that decision.”

Asked whether the Lions will push Johnson to make his decision by a certain date, Wood insisted there was no timetable.

“It’d be nice to know what we’re going to do, but it’s not something that we’re going to force on him to make a decision prior to free agency,” Wood said. “I’m not going to try and talk him in, or anybody else with the team, talk him into a decision. He needs to decide what’s right for him and his future and his body and the rest of his career. And I think the worst thing that we could do is try and put pressure on him, and we’re not doing that.”

Wood weighed in on a few more Lions-related topics, and we have a couple other notes out of Detroit to pass along, so let’s round up the latest….

  • Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who took some time after the season to contemplate his future, wants to play in 2016 and perhaps beyond, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Ngata is unsigned for 2016, but will talk to the Lions soon to see if the two sides can continue their relationship.
  • As Twentyman writes in his piece linked above, Wood pointed to the offensive line as an area the Lions will look to upgrade this offseason, and also stressed the importance of building a strong defense. “I certainly think there’s a long history of teams with good defenses winning,” the club president said. “Last year (2014), when we had the No. 2 defense in the league, we were 11-5. This year, when our defense didn’t play as well the beginning of the year, we struggled.”
  • Wood confirmed today that GM Bob Quinn has final say on all of the team’s player personnel decisions, and that it was “absolutely” Quinn’s call on whether or not to retain head coach Jim Caldwell (Twitter links via Mike O’Hara).
  • Wood dismissed the idea that Caldwell is on a short leash, but stressed that the Lions do expect to win in the short term, rather than enter rebuilding mode (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).
  • Asked whether linebacker DeAndre Levy will be healthy for the start of training camp, Wood said he has “no reason to believe” Levy won’t be ready (Twitter link via O’Hara). The veteran linebacker missed most of the 2015 season due to hip issues.

No Decision Yet On Lions HC Jim Caldwell

The Lions introduced new general manager Bob Quinn today at an afternoon press conference, but the team has yet to make a decision on head coach Jim Caldwell, who remains in limbo. While Quinn initially said during today’s presser that he met with Caldwell today, he later acknowledged that it was more of an introduction than a meeting — it only lasted about 30 seconds (Twitter links via Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).

Quinn doesn’t expect to meet again with Caldwell today, and doesn’t have a timetable for his decision on the head coach, but he’d like to make that call sooner rather than later (Twitter links via Birkett and Twentyman). Still, the former Patriots executive won’t rush the decision, and would like to get to know Caldwell. Quinn added today that he expects to meet with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson before announcing anything on Caldwell (Twitter link via Birkett).

As Quinn deliberates on Caldwell, we’ve got a few more items to pass along out of Detroit, so let’s dive in and round them up…

  • Although Quinn is going into his meeting with Caldwell with an open mind, he has other potential head coaching candidates at the ready, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. La Canfora (Twitter link) would be surprised if the Lions end up targeting Patriots coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia as Caldwell’s potential replacement, though Quinn did praise both Pats assistants today, suggesting they’re both ready and willing to become head coaches (Twitter link via Birkett).
  • Quinn not only got the general manager title in Detroit — he also was named executive VP and received a five-year contract, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. As Caplan observes, it’s an impressive package for a first-time GM.
  • Quinn will report directly to owner Martha Ford, tweets Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Meanwhile, the new GM said today that he’s not sure the old interim GM – Sheldon White – will be back with the club, per Twentyman (Twitter link). White has been with the franchise for nearly two decades, in several roles and under multiple regimes, so it would be a little surprising if he went anywhere.
  • Quinn will have “zero tolerance” when it comes to guns and domestic violence with his players, according to Birkett (Twitter link).

Lions Hire Ernie Accorsi As Special Advisor

After acting as a consultant during the Lions’ search for a new general manager, Ernie Accorsi‘s time with the club won’t be coming to an end just yet, as Detroit has hired the longtime NFL executive as a special advisor to team president Rod Wood, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.

[RELATED: Lions hire Bob Quinn as GM]

Accorsi, who also consulted with the Bears during their GM hunt last offseason, will bring a wealth of experience to the table as he works alongside Wood and first-time general manager Bob Quinn. The 74-year-old Accorsi has worked in the NFL since 1970, but his most memorable time came with the Giants, with whom he was employed from 1994-2007 (acting as GM from 1998 onward).

The move to bring in Accorsi could have wide-ranging implications for the Lions as a whole, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), who says that Accorsi’s hiring should indicate that head coach Jim Caldwell is likely safe, as Accorsi has been very pragmatic regarding head coaches in the past. However, Accorsi himself told reporters, including Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (Twitter link), that he will have nothing to do with Caldwell’s fate, as that decision will be left entirely to Quinn.

In other Lions news, Quinn will be officially be introduced as the club’s next general manger at a 2pm ET press conference tomorrow afternoon, tweets Twentyman.