In somewhat surprising news, Detroit Lions Senior Personnel Executive Brian Xanders is stepping down from his post after four years, according to a report from Neil Stratton:
#Lions Senior Personnel Executive Brian Xanders (ex-#Broncos GM) has left Detroit after 4 yrs. Could resurface fast w/several #NFL openings.— Neil Stratton (@InsideTheLeague) May 4, 2017
Xanders joined the team in 2013 after a very successful run with the Denver Broncos as their general manager. According to the team website, since joining the team, Xanders has been working “with all areas of the club’s player personnel department, including college scouting, pro personnel, advance scouting, coaching research/analytics and football information systems development.”
Xanders immediately made a name for himself when the Lions had arguably the most successful 2013 draft in the league, despite it being one of the worst draft classes in recent history. Although his role in the draft process wasn’t clear, he was credited for completely modernizing Detroit’s evaluation process.
The team has yet to confirm the news, so it isn’t clear whether this was a firing, a resignation or a mutual agreement to part ways. However, this split does resemble the way things ended for Xanders in Denver. John Elway took over the team as the executive vice president of football operations in 2011. After taking a year to work alongside each other, the two mutually agreed to part ways the next year, and Elway assumed full general manager duties.
Now that Lions general manager Bob Quinn has had a year to work with Xanders, it’s quite possible that the two have also agreed to part ways. As we saw last year, Quinn has not hesitated in overhauling the Lions’ scouting department. Just a few weeks after accepting the job as Lions GM, Quinn fired several long-standing scouting directors.
Slowly but surely, this team is becoming Bob Quinn’s organization, from the top to the bottom.