Bye Week Blues: Finding The Lions Next General Manager

The Detroit Lions are now in the hunt for a new president and a new general manager to lead the team.  The fired Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew Thursday and now need to find the right people to lead the team.  There are candidates all over for the team to choose from, but will Martha Ford do things differently than her late husband did when he decided to just keep Martin Mayhew after firing Matt Millen?  Only time will tell.  Below is a small list of candidates that the Lions will likely look at.


Sheldon White – Interim GM – Detroit Lions

Whether Detroit Lions fans like it or not, Sheldon White will get a look.  He is currently a part of the organizations and was instrumental in bringing in some free agents that were overlooked by Martin Mayhew.  Those free agents, George Johnson and Rashean Mathis, were a part of the Lions number two defense last season.  White is qualified as well.  He spent 19 years with the Detroit Lions serving in their scouting department and has been the vice president of pro personnel since 2009.  White also fills the Rooney rule in being a minority.  While most Lions fans, myself included, would like a fresh start which includes cutting ties with White, he is considered a solid candidate.

Eric DeCosta – Assistant GM – Baltimore Ravens

DeCosta would be the perfect candidate for the Lions to land.  He has been studying under Ozzie Newsome since 2012 and has been with Baltimore in the scouting department since 1996.  He is very much a part of the reason that the Baltimore Ravens have drafted so well over the years, and both of their Super Bowls are just as much a credit to him as they are to Newsome.  The only problem with DeCosta is that he really likes where he is and he is considered the replacement if Newsome were to retire or leave for any reason.  He would be very difficult to lure away.

Brian Xanders – Senior Personnel Executive – Detroit Lions

Xanders is another candidate that Lions fans hope does not get a strong look.  While he has only been in Detroit since 2013, retaining him would mean more of the same for fans.  Still though, Xanders has interviewed for jobs recently and actually served as the Broncos general manager for 4 years.  He is experienced and his qualifications make him someone that will definitely get a look.

Eliot Wolf – Director of Pro Personnel – Green Bay Packers

Wolf is a hot name in the league right now.  Being the son of Ron Wolf, legendary Packers executive, Eliot has had the privilege of growing up in this business.  He is young, experienced, and has his father as a resource should he need him.  The knock on Wolf is his age.  He is in his mid thirties which would make him one of the youngest general managers in the NFL.  Still, his pedigree and experience make him someone that cannot be overlooked.

Nick Caserio – Director of Player Personnel – New England Patriots

Caserio has been with the New England Patriots since 2001 as both a coach and a front office executive.  Since 2008, he has served as the team’s director of player personnel.  Having been a coach and an executive, he would be an interesting candidate.  He recently interviewed for general manager jobs so he may be interested in leaving, especially to come to Michigan, where he served as a graduate assistant with both Saginaw Valley and Central Michigan.

Scott Pioli – Assistant GM – Atlanta Falcons

Due to his years in New England, he was coveted by Lions fans during the post-Millen search.  He went to Kansas City and did not do too well there.  He did, however, leave a decent amount of talent on the roster for the following staff to use.  He also was very good with cap management.  Since joining the Falcons, Atlanta has improved greatly.  They have added talent and hired a better head coach in Dan Quinn.  He was also part of the team that interviewed Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin twice last off-season so his connection could mean some consideration for Austin to remain in Detroit.

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