Lions GM Search: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Position

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

Detroit Lions interim general manager Sheldon White speaks during an NFL football news conference Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, in Allen Park, Mich. White replaces Martin Mayhew who was fired along with team president Tom Lewand. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions have begun their search for a new general manager, lining up a number of interviews with potential candidates.

Continue for updates.

Lions Hope to Meet with Paton

Wednesday, Jan. 6

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Detroit hopes to interview Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, adding he's "asked often [but] rarely interviews."

Lions Considering Giants Executive

Wednesday, Jan. 6

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported the Lions will interview New York Giants executive Kevin Abrams. He noted Abrams is a "very sharp cookie" and that Detroit consultant Ernie Accorsi "knows him well."

Lions Requested Interview with Tobin

Tuesday, Jan. 5

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Lions reached out to the Cincinnati Bengals chief of personnel Duke Tobin, but he's staying with the Bengals long-term.

Lions Identifying Favored Targets

Monday, Jan. 4

Schefter reported the Lions have received permission from the New England Patriots to interview Bob Quinn, the team's director of pro scouting. According to Schefter, Detroit has also lined up an interview with Trent Kirchner, the Seattle Seahawks' co-director of player personnel.

The Lions will have to strike one name from their list, though, after Rapoport reported Monday that Will McClay, the Dallas Cowboys' assistant director of player personnel, decided to stay with his current team.

Sheldon White has been serving as the team's interim GM since replacing Martin Mayhew in November 2015. White received praise from head coach Jim Caldwell following the conclusion of the regular season, per Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official website:

Team president Rod Wood confirmed on Sunday that Detroit would allow White to interview for the permanent position, per Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.

Upon earning the interim gig, White discussed the conversation between himself and majority owner Martha Ford, per's Michael Rothstein:

Her direct message to me was I need to win and I want to win now," White said in his first public comments since his promotion. "It's not any type of rebuild or anything like that. I don't even like the word rebuild. I feel like you're always building. There is no rebuild. You're always building and trying to get better. So that's one of the messages I wanted to let everyone know too.

"She's not giving in on the season. We have eight games left, and we need to play hard and play well, and that was my focus."

Whomever the Lions ultimately hire will likely be held to the same standard. The team will pay over $40 million to wide receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford next year, and it won't want to spend that kind of money on two players simply to be building for the future.

The new general manager's first task will be improving a defense that finished 18th in yards allowed and 23rd in points allowed in 2015. If the Lions can make serious strides on that side of the ball, the playoffs would be a more than attainable goal in 2016.