On Thursday, the Detroit Lions fired general manager Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand. To some, the firings point towards better days, and to some they do not mean a thing.
The Lions are a dysfunctional franchise and have been for decades. In fact, many jump to the conclusion that the Ford’s must sell the team for the Lions to see ‘better’ days.
Not so fast.
It’s basically like the Lions have new ownership with Martha Ford, who’s late husband William Clay Ford passed away in 2014. Martha took the reigns as owner, and nobody knew how she would react or what her tendencies would be.
So what exactly must Mrs.Ford do to appease the fan base, and ultimately win?
Adopt the Chicago Cubs model.
Clean house and start over. I know Lions fans are sick of rebuilding, but you don’t have a choice. The Lions are the 21st oldest team in the NFL. They do have a young core, but it needs to get younger.
The only way you can adopt the Cubs model is to gut the entire front office and start over. The Lions fired Matt Millen, only to hire his understudy Martin Mayhew. They should have known this was coming.
It’s a mind-numbing decision only Willaim Clay Ford made, but with him out of the picture, Martha Ford has a chance to make up for her late husband’s mistakes. The Lions cannot do what they did with Martin Mayhew and hire from within.They must commit to the fans of Detroit who have supported them. They have reached a point where they need outside help to save a lifeless organization.
It might be time to do the unthinkable.
I advise hardcore Lions fans to take a deep breath because this might make you cringe.
It’s time to trade Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford.
It’s not because Calvin Johnson looks to be declining, and it’s not because Matthew Stafford is a horrible quarterback. It’s the best for both parties. Stafford and Johnson surely cannot want to be part of a complete rebuild, and the Lions would have a tough time rebuilding with those contracts on the books.
The same rebuild Stafford came into, Johnson has played his entire career under. Yes, they made the playoffs twice, big deal they never had the right pieces to make a real run.
When you trade Johnson and Stafford it’s strictly salary cap relief. The Lions are in a rebuilding stage and getting big contracts off the books would be beneficial to them moving forward.
I love Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford, but they deserve to play meaningful football for the rest of their careers. The Lions owe them that because of their organizational failures.
The Detroit Lions must find the next elite GM.
Guys like John Schneider, Ted Thompson, Ozzie Newsome, Steve Keim and John Elway are all names that pop out to most football fans. That’s because they draft well, and they have long-term plans beyond the current year.
Those are the top names. Detroit must find the next elite GM, and I encourage fans not to jump the gun if they hire a name that might appear to be a risk.
Successful business models include taking risks.
Each draft and each signing are risks that are taken by the great organizations in football. Those risks are well thought out and planned. Those are also things that the Lions past regimes have failed to do.
The Detroit Lions have no time to do this again; the Ford’s must get this hire right.
The Lions need to capitalize. When Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand were fired, even the most pessimistic Lions fans were excited, but that mood can change in a heartbeat.
The Lions haven’t been successful in quite some time. The market they play in is a market that expects to win. Detroit fans don’t want playoff banners, they want a Super Bowl.
The next person the Lions must hire is somebody who intends to capitalize on the opportunity to make Detroit proud.
Detroit is a blue-collar town, they won’t waste money on a product that doesn’t meet the championship criteria. Sure Detroit has had some loyal fans who have spent money on awful teams but the opportunity to see a big time revenue boost is by winning.
The Lions have to make the right hires to finally ‘Restore the Roar’ in Detroit. A winning football team would breed excitement throughout the city.
What I would say to the Ford Family:
The Detroit Lions faithful have had to wait long enough. For the Ford family, it’s time to get it right or sell the team.
These fans stand by the Lions. Some live and die with the Lions. These fans have packed the house, for disappointment after disappointment.
As Caldwell said at his press conference, “It’s time.”
It’s time to deliver for this city. Lions fans have waited and waited. It’s your job to make the wait well worth it and win this city a Super Bowl.
This town is yours for the taking, it’s you that will make the decisions and you that will either succeed or fail. Don’t squander this opportunity.
What are your thoughts Nation? Give us your feedback on what YOU would like to see the Lions do.