The Detroit Lions hired New England Patriots director of pro scouting Bob Quinn to fill their vacant general manager position, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter on Jan. 8. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirmed the report.
On Monday, Adam Caplan of ESPN reported Quinn received the title of executive vice president and signed a five-year contract, which he called "rare for a [first-time] GM."
Quinn also spoke about his philosophy regarding off-field issues, saying he has a zero-tolerance policy as it pertains to guns and domestic violence.
The Lions fired former general manager Martin Mayhew on Nov. 5 and have been interviewing candidates in recent weeks to assume the prominent front office spot. According to MLive's Kyle Meinke, the Lions hired former Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns and New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi to help spearhead the search for a new GM.
At the time of Mayhew's dismissal, Lions owner Martha Ford discussed the type of candidate who was being targeted to take over the position.
"I want to assure our fans that we intend to identify and hire the very best leadership in order to produce a consistently winning football team," Ford said, per NFL.com's Conor Orr. "Our fans deserve a winning football team and we will do everything possible to make it a reality."
NFL.com's Gil Brandt was among those impressed by the hire:
Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt
Bob Quinn's going to make an excellent GM for the Lions. I'm a big fan of this very smart man.1/8/2016, 10:30:53 PM
Prior to being appointed general manager in Detroit, Quinn worked in the Patriots' personnel department for 16 years, according to the team's media guide (via the Detroit Free Press' Carlos Monarrez). The 2015 season was his fourth as New England's director of pro scouting.
The first task he'll face will be determining the fate of head coach Jim Caldwell, who survived front office and coaching staff shakeups throughout the regular season. According to Rothstein, Schefter reported Detroit's ownership prefers to keep Caldwell.
However, Lions president Rod Wood is on record as saying the new general manager will have final say regarding Caldwell's fate.
"It's one of the main functions of their job is selecting the coach and we're going to follow that and not going to change," he said, per Rothstein.
One year removed from an 11-5 season that resulted in a trip to the playoffs, the Lions clearly have a solid foundation of talent for Quinn to work with as the draft and free agency approach.
But before he can mold the roster as he sees fit, Quinn will need to decide if he believes Caldwell is capable of utilizing the pieces in a way that can propel the Lions back into the postseason.
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