UPDATED – 10:09PM SUNDAY 1/14/18
The Lions have inched closer to bringing on Matt Patricia as the next Detroit Lions coach late Sunday night – informing all other candidates that they were no longer being considered for the position. The job is officially off the board.
Per sources, Lions have informed other candidates they’ve been eliminated from the search, moving forward with the expectation Matt Patricia will be their head coach when the Patriots season ends. So that job is officially off the board.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 15, 2018
It appears that the “will he, won’t he” saga of Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions could soon officially be answered.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the current New England Patriots defensive coordinator is “likely” to be named Lions head coach once New England’s season has ended, whenever that may be as they have just advanced to the AFC championship.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2018
Speculation has abounded that following Detroit’s dismissal of head coach Jim Caldwell that Patricia was the leading candidate to take over. Much of the fans excitement that someone from a proven winner leading their team was quieted amid reports that Patricia allegedly was favoring the New York Giants over Detroit.
Should Patricia land in the Motor City, he’d be reunited with former personnel man and current GM Bob Quinn.
The potential contract negotiations between the Lions and Patricia would have to wait until after New England is finished, as NFL rules state that “No contract shall be executed, and no agreement to execute a contract, or an announcement of a contract, or of an agreement for employment, shall be permitted until after the conclusion of the employer club’s playing season.”
Following Detroit’s firing of Jim Caldwell, they’ve been linked to Patricia, as well as Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, and others. The team also conducted in-house interviews with offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, as well as defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, who has since left for the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Patriots will play the winner of today’s matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers to determine the AFC winner next week.