Lions GM search more pathetic than advertised?

Here’s a nice nugget from Birkett’s article today:

To the Lions’ credit, they appeared to run a wide-ranging GM search. They interviewed 12 different candidates and, at a minimum, toyed with making a run at one sitting GM, the Steelers’ Kevin Colbert.

Some of the candidates the Lions interviewed were extreme long shots to be hired. Most would have cost significantly more than the Lions are rumored to have paid Holmes. Others left with unanswered questions about the Lions’ reporting structure, though perhaps not enough to deter them from taking the job.

So, sorry, I gotta agree with most of what Carlos critiques in his column. I’m absolutely not writing off Holmes as a failure before the ink is even dry on his contract. He could be a natural. He could quickly restock the roster on both sides of the ball. We could get lucky and hit a homerun.

But that’s what it will be if this works out: luck.

The points Carlos makes about Holmes being soooo far down the Rams org chart start to make sense. The Lions didn’t want to bring in a more experienced candidate, because they didn’t want to pay a more experienced candidate. They’re hoping to find a diamond in the rough, the next brilliant hotshot GM that can turn things around for a historically terrible franchise.

And the people who believe they’re qualified to outsmart the rest of the league and find that candidate? Rod Wood, Sheila Ford, and a retired player who’s never worked in an NFL front office before.

Cripes this franchise…


Haters gonna hate


This strikes me as being about money. I don’t know how SFH is, but we never had to worry about money with WCF, he was always willing to throw as much money as needed at a situation. Too bad he always threw the money the wrong way.

But with our investment banker, money is his forte. This is something he can pound his chest when reporting to SFH. Like when he saved her $1M by alienating one of the nicest people in the game. Maybe it’s why there were rumors about a Schneider or Colbert, but when Wood found out the price tag of someone with experience, he put the kibosh on it.

Were we trying to find the best man or the best man for a cheap price tag?

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Key wording is “have paid”. Nothing about “willing to pay”. We’ll find out within 3 years if this was a good hire.

To an extent, that’s always true with a GM or coaching hire. There are very few slam dunks. Just look at Cleveland whose meddling owner once overruled his own staff who wanted to hire McDermott to hire Hue Jackson instead. You think he got savvy all of a sudden? Nope. He got lucky.


I made a mention of this in the Holmes thread. I bet a lot of GMs felt uneasy about Spielman’s presence.

Think about it from their point of view. The Lions are bringing in a Lions icon to lead the GM search. I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing that this influential guy is overseeing thinks and has input in every little move I make. I bet this scared off the more experienced GMs knowing that they might have to answer to him. Not to mention that it’s one of the worst jobs in the league as is.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they made this hire because he might be easier to control.
Also, I bet they didn’t like Saleh because he wanted to do things his way and not the Lions way. Just wild speculation on my part.

I don’t think any would have a problem answering to Spielman, they know he knows football. It’s answering to the guy who knows nothing about football that’s the problem.

Perhaps, but this is 100% speculation. I know that’s what a message board is for, but we shouldn’t proceed as if it’s a fact.

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GMs want power, they want full.autonomy to make personnel decisions. They don’t want to be undermined by a higher power so to speak. I just have a feeling that the lack of transparency about what Spielman’s role REALLY is might have scared some of them off. Just my opinion.

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So is speculation that potential GM’s have a problem with Spielman. Pretty much anything anyone says here is speculation. Spielman needs to be there because Wood is incompetent . . . GM’s need to understand that and I think most would.

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Honestly, Jeff Risdon and Dave Birkett were involved in a conversation on Twitter regarding this very article worth looking at.


I agree re: Spielman which is why it never bothered me. But to claim that we’ve all of a sudden become cheap when all our history points to the opposite feels revisionist because Holmes came from relative obscurity. But he was interviewed elsewhere and if the reports are correct, was also a favorite in Atlanta.

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What’s worse? The Lions potentially being cheap or them forcing Stafford on the next GM?
Either one, if true and lets hope not, should infuriate Lions fans.

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I don’t think either are true, but if they are it’s the latter. Those three should not be making decisions that the new GM has to follow. That’s what you hire the GM for!

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Stafford isn’t being forced on anyone, but I don’t think any GM would ever not want a player like Stafford. If someone doesn’t they probably aren’t qualified to be a GM. The whole notion that a GM wouldn’t want Stafford is started by a handful of forum posters, that really have no idea what they are talking about.


WCF was never cheap. Marth/SFH/Wood - I don’t know yet. Their hires have been Quinn and Patricia - likely at the cheaper end of things and they went after CJ signing bonus when no other NFL team would have done that . . . they are trending toward the cheap side.


I am not buying this idea that being cheap led to Holmes being hired. Also, that the search was “pathetic?” That seems like a stretch.

I am buying we liked Paton. Dodds took an interview here and maybe had a second interview? I believe the Lions talked to the Saints guys too. I also think we talked to Pioli, Rick Smith, Thomas D and the ESPN guy too? Am I to believe these were all smokescreens used to drive the price down for someone? That feels unlikely.

I don’t believe Chris Spielman would allow himself to be used like that. He was hired to make this a legit process. It sounds like we talked to real candidates. Multiple candidates and the Lions choose a lesser known guy. That makes this pathetic?

Am I to believe these interviews never took place? Or that the Lions were so cheap they drove away candidates? That doesn’t seem consistent with the Fords who seem to pay market rates for things. What am I missing?


Perhaps handing the job of finding new leaders to a former player was not such a great idea after all?

I’ve always defended the Fords on here against people banging them for being cheap. They haven’t been cheap for many years; they’ve been more than willing to throw money around. Just threw it around to the wrong people.

I do think though that there is some evidence this may no longer be the case. The whole blow-up with CJ over a mil is weird. Now, the fact that they’re hiring a guy way, way, way down the org chart is concerning.

As I said, Holmes may be an outstanding draft evaluator, and I sure hope he is, because that can cover up a lot of other problems. But when I hear that the Lions are looking deep, deep within some other organization, plucking out a younger guy who has no experience running an organization at all, they’re basically saying that they’ve spotted a diamond that the rest of the league has missed. Who am I supposed to believe spotted that diamond? Rod Wood? Chris Spielman, who, god love him, has no experience whatsoever in an NFL front office?

I’m sorry, this just feels like people who don’t know what they’re doing taking a flyer on a guy who sounded good in an interview. I genuinely hope he succeeds, I just have no confidence in any of the people who were responsible for evaluating candidates and making this call.


Yeah, I’m generally with you on this. I could see how a prospective candidate might be scared off by feeling like ownership is trying to insert themselves into football decisions from the get-go. But in terms of the choice on Stafford itself, hard to believe any candidate wouldn’t prefer to actually have a shot at winning some games next year, even if it’s just as a placeholder while they draft the QB of the future. Especially given the financial ramifications of moving Stafford this year.

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