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Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford releases statement following firing of Jim Caldwell: ‘Jim is one of the finest leaders we’ve ever had’

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The Lions owner had some nice words for Jim Caldwell.

NFL: NOV 22 Raiders at Lions Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford released a statement on Monday morning after the team announced they had fired Jim Caldwell after four seasons with the team.

Here is Ford’s full statement:

“On behalf of my family and the Lions organization I would like to thank Jim Caldwell for his exemplary leadership and service to our team and our community over the past four years.

“I believe Jim is one of the finest leaders we’ve ever had as our head coach. Not only did he guide us on the field to three winning seasons, but he also set a standard of excellence off the field that had a tremendous impact on everyone in our organization and our entire community.

“As many of our players have already said, his influence on them transcended the game of football and will positively serve them throughout their lives.

“Our organization is better because of Jim, and we are forever grateful. We wish Jim, his wife Cheryl and the entire Caldwell family all the best that life can offer.”

Ford has long admired Caldwell. Back after the 2016 season, she was quoted as saying, “I love Jim Caldwell,” while refusing to address his job status at the time.

Her words on Monday ring true. Caldwell was an extremely well-liked figure in the locker room and by all accounts carried himself quite professionally from the moment he joined the Lions organization.

But ultimately it was results that mattered the most, and the Lions wanted more out of this team than occasional playoff appearances.

Bob Quinn will address the media later on Monday. He has a press conference currently scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. It will be live-streamed over the internet.