Offseason? What offseason? The Detroit Lions have been as busy as ever during the first week following the end of the 2015 season.
GM SEARCH OVER
Team president Rod Wood was true to his word when he said the goal was to get a permanent general manager in place as soon as possible.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the hiring of Bob Quinn early Friday evening.
The team later confirmed the news with an official press release.
"We are thrilled to have agreed to a deal with Bob to make him our new General Manager," Wood said. "As Mrs. Ford indicated at the outset, our search would be national in scope, and we would do everything possible to identify the very best person to lead our football operation. We believe Bob is that person."
The selection of Quinn is a step in a different direction for a Lions franchise that has previously hired from within. Former interim GM Sheldon White was considered for the position, and while he did not get it, Wood praised his work.
"Sheldon has done an exemplary job under less-than-ideal circumstances," Wood said. "We appreciate his professionalism and contributions as our interim GM."
In addition to White, the other candidates reported to be considered were Seattle Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner and New York Giants assistant general manager Kevin Abrams.
After retirement rumors starting swirling, wider receiver Calvin Johnson released the following statement:
"Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future. I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future."
The team responded with a statement of their own:
"We obviously have profound respect for Calvin and certainly understand and appreciate his decision to give proper thought and consideration to his football future."
While Johnson's future may be uncertain, his statement made one thing clear: He's giving the Lions his best effort again, just as he has every day on and off the field since he was drafted in 2007.
It's very clear the players want Jim Caldwell to retain his head coaching duties moving forward.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford spoke in support of both Caldwell and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter following Sunday's season finale in Chicago.
"He's a great coach, and a really good man," Stafford said. "You don't start 1-7 and come back 6-2 if you don't believe in your coach. We definitely do."
The decision is ultimately up to Quinn. Until then, Caldwell is proceeding with business as usual.
"Still working, still under contract and we'll do what we do," he said Monday. "We have a job to do. We do our job and we let the chips fall where they may."
A number of players made their final push for Caldwell Monday before cleaning out their lockers and heading out for the offseason.
"If they do choose to go in a different direction, what kind of message are you sending to the guys that are suiting up for you every single Sunday?" wide receiver Lance Moore asked.
"You're starting back from zero. You're starting from the ground again and I don't think that's the right move to make.
"If certain changes need to be made, I don't think that's one of them. Hopefully, the right people hear this. Hopefully, they understand where I'm coming from because you don't come across guys like (Caldwell) very often. He's a gem."
Time will tell if the players get their wish.
The conclusion of the 2015 season allows us to start looking ahead at what's to come.
The team also started locking players into reserve/futures contracts starting with five signings Monday.
The Lions will have 24 soon to be free agents on their hands this offseason. Tim Twentyman offers a breakdown on the outlook for each of those players.
AND THE WINNER IS ...
Every year the team votes on a series of awards for fellow teammates. We're announcing an award winner a day on Detroitlions.com.
Here's a recap of the awards announced this week:
Stay tuned next week for the final four award winners.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS:
- Watch the Lions rookies share their favorite plays from their first season in the NFL.
- Tim Twentyman and Mike O'Hara hand out awards for some of the best and worst moments of the 2015 season.
- Check out the final Pro Football Focus grades for all the players on offense, defense and special teams.
- Linebacker Tahir Whitehead has been praised for his versatility, but he sees himself playing the MIKE.
- Read Tim Twentyman's breakdown of the creative screen pass to Joique Bell that went for a 36-yard gain early in the fourth quarter at Chicago.
- The stats tell the story of the tale of two halves for the Lions' 2015 season.