The Detroit Lions have a new head coach and his name is DAN Campbell.
But last week, a report surfaced that DAN Campbell may not have been the Lions first choice and that they actually offered Iowa State head coach MATT Campbell an 8-year contract that would have paid him over $8 million per season.
Well, according to NFL insider Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Lions interest in MATT Campbell was “real” but as was reported earlier by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, an offer was never made.
Here is what Breer calls the “truth” about MATT Campbell and the Detroit Lions.
The Lions’ interest in Matt Campbell was real, and should come as no surprise, but contract terms were never even discussed. The 41-year-old Iowa State coach has been a hot name in NFL circles for three offseasons now, and Campbell has been relatively resistant to leaving Ames. But in January, he did at least give the Detroit job some thought. He and Lions special assistant to the owner Chris Spielman have a strong relationship—the two are both from the football-mad city of Massillon, Ohio—and, as such, Campbell spoke with the Lions brass a couple times about the job opening as the NFL hiring cycle got revved up. And Detroit was preparing to fly out to visit with Campbell just before Campbell pulled his name out of the running. Why did Campbell bow out? Iowa State has most of its team from last year coming back, and a few upperclassmen told Campbell that they’d stay, and not head off to the NFL, if he did too. So really it sounds like this was a matter of loyalty (to his players) and timing (having a really good team coming back after last year’s Fiesta Bowl win). And while the Lions were the only team he formally talked with, five of the seven that had openings reached out looking to interview him. It’s understandable if you, as an NFL fan, don’t know much about Campbell. But as we’ve been saying in this space for some time, power brokers in the league are well aware of how good he is. And it’s fair to assume that will manifest in more opportunities down the line. As for right now? I don’t know if the Lions’ getting on that plane and visiting Campbell would have led, eventually, to an offer being made. What I do know is that one wasn’t made. And, again, that Detroit’s not alone in its interest in the Cyclones coach.
Nation, would you have preferred MATT Campbell over DAN Campbell?
Personally, I am 100% on board with the Lions decision to hire DAN.