Tim Twentyman conducted an extensive interview with Detroit Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. this week. During the three-part interview, Ford Jr. talked about a number of topics, including what Martin Mayhew has done to turn this franchise around and the importance of signing Calvin Johnson to an extension.
Here are Ford Jr.'s thoughts on one of the less noticed things Mayhew has done in the last few years:
"One thing Martin has that may sound trivial, but is a big deal, is Martin prepares for free agency and the draft together, rather than as separate events. Even though they are staged separately in the NFL in terms of timing, he tries to take a holistic look at who’s out there. Who’s out there could mean NFL veterans or fourth-round draft picks. So, in his mind, he doesn’t just do the draft and just do the free agency, he’s got all the pieces fitting in together, therefore he really gets the most out of both events by doing that."
That does seem like something that should be considered a given, but based on Ford Jr.'s comments, it sounds like Matt Millen didn't get that memo.
Here is what Ford Jr.'s response was to the question about inking Johnson to an extension:
"Well we really want Calvin here long-term and I think it’s important for us, important for Matthew (Stafford), it’s important for the fans and he’s a great guy. He’s a great guy on the field, he’s a great guy in the locker room and he’s a great guy off the field. They don’t make many better people than Calvin Johnson. We really want to get this done with him."