Lions owner William Clay Ford did in fact fire Matt Millen. It is assumed that the firing happened when the two met last night. The two also spoke or had a meeting over the weekend, which may have been what prompted Bill Ford Jr. to come and say he would fire Millen if he could. It's safe to say that Ford Jr. had knowledge of the meeting and likely had an indication that his father was close to getting rid of Millen for good. Considering that, Ford Jr. may have made the comments with the intention of swaying his father to fire Millen if he was undecided. That would make the most sense given the timing of how everything played out.
As far as who will replace Millen for now and when a new general manager will be hired, you can find the details of both of those things in this press release from the Lions:
Detroit Lions Owner and Chairman William Clay Ford announced today that Matt Millen has been relieved of his duties as President and CEO effective immediately.
Executive Vice President and COO Tom Lewand will now report directly to Mr. Ford on all business, organizational and NFL matters.
Martin Mayhew will assume the role of General Manager and report directly to Mr. Ford on all football matters. Additionally, Cedric Saunders has been named the Vice President of Football Operations.
“I have relieved Matt Millen of his duties effective immediately,” said Lions Owner and Chairman William Clay Ford. “I believe that this decision is in the best interest of this organization. I appreciate Matt’s efforts. Matt worked tirelessly during his tenure to win, and he would be the first one to tell you that you have to win in this league. It just didn’t work out.
“The support of our fans continues to be incredible and they deserve a winner. Every decision we make must focus on that goal, and I believe this decision today will allow this team to move forward in a positive manner.
“I am very disappointed with where we are as a team after our start this season. Our sole focus now is preparing for our next game against Chicago. The entire organization must work together and do whatever we can to make this a successful season. Despite our record, it is still early and there is time to turn this season around.
“These decisions are for the duration of the 2008 season. Once the season is over, we will undergo a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of our entire football operation and put together a plan that we believe will transform this team into a winner.”
All I can say is that the search for a new general manager better get started immediately. No one has to be hired until after the season, but the Lions better use all of their resources to make this a comprehensive search that results in the hiring of someone that will turn this thing around. I'm not necessarily saying that interviews have to happen during the season, but Detroit better at least begin to put together a list of candidates that ensures someone great will be hired.