Maddening vibrations and terrible omens swirled out of Allen Park on Thursday. It was a warm bye week for the Detroit Lions but cold hell was being paid in full for the dismal first half posted by a struggling franchise failing to right itself. Time had run out for the front office. With a snap and a word to the writers, it was reported that the Lions had fired general manager Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand. The tremors became reality, and the earthquake began in earnest.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter:
MAJOR changes in Detroit: Lions have fired GM Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand, league sources told ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 5, 2015
The move was vicious and swift. Coaches and coordinators feel appropriate for midseason reprisals; not so much front offices. However, one might argue that the move was warranted based upon what will undoubtedly be portrayed as multiple management failures from the front office in the coming days as draft picks are reevaluated, moves questioned, neglected trade deadlines scrutinized. Much will be justified as the Lions swim away from Mayhew and Lewand and attempt to find a future.
Early reports indicate that the Lions may look to senior personnel executive Brian Xanders for an interim role. (UPDATE: Sheldon White was named interim general manager)
The tremors did not stop there. Terrible things were happening as the Lions made a stunning move to clean house during the middle of the season. The surprise swept clean across the organization; Justin Rogers of MLive.com is reporting that no one in the organization saw this coming. It's not clear that Caldwell will survive the installation of a new front office; head coaches rarely do in the NFL. For now, reports out from Ian Rapoport indicate that Caldwell is still the head coach of the Detroit Lions. For many others, the immediate future is not so certain.
#Lions source on the firings today: "Total wipeout." Apparently, bosses are going through the building deciding who stays and goes.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 5, 2015
The situation is still developing. We will have more information as the news comes in.