The move comes after Caldwell was rewarded with what was initially reported as a multiyear contract extension over the summer. However, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport later clarified Caldwell's revised deal was a one-year extension that included a team option following the 2018 campaign.
After opening the 2016 campaign 9-4 thanks to an 8-1 run between Weeks 5-14, the Lions closed out the regular season with three straight losses to the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.
That shaky finish opened the door for the Packers to steal the NFC North crown, and it sent the Lions on the road for Wild Card Weekend. The Lions proceeded to get squashed 26-6 by the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, marking the second time in three seasons they lost a wild-card game.
Detroit was streaky once again in 2017, and it played a clear second fiddle to the Minnesota Vikings all year. As a result, the franchise is still searching for its first playoff win since January 1992.
The Lions also failed to capture a division title under Caldwell and have not finished atop the NFC North since it was known as the NFC Central in 1993.
All told, Caldwell went 36-28, good for a winning percentage of .563, during his four seasons in the Motor City. That's hardly a woeful mark; however, it didn't cut it for a team that's been mired in mediocrity for extended stretches over the past couple of decades.
Now that Caldwell has been jettisoned, general manager Bob Quinn will be tasked with targeting the kind of leader who can snap the Lions out of purgatory and propel them into the NFC title picture.