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Arthur Smith cancels meeting with Lions as talks with Falcons heat up

You may want to scratch Smith off your list.

Carolina Panthers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

24 hour ago, it looked like Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith may be the leading candidate for the Detroit Lions head coach job. Now it looks like they can probably scratch him off their list completely.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Smith has cancelled his second interview with the Lions and is now primarily focused on working out a deal with the Atlanta Falcons. Smith met with the Falcons for a second interview on Wednesday and his first with the Eagles on Thursday. It appears the Falcons don’t want to risk any further interviews. Per ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Falcons have already made an offer to Smith.

That leaves the Lions in a precarious spot. They have yet to conduct a single second interview with any of their candidates, and now with Robert Saleh recently agreeing to become the next New York Jets coach, Detroit’s search is narrowing quickly.

Of the remaining available coaches, the Lions have interviewed just Marvin Lewis, Eric Bieniemy, Darrell Bevell, and Dan Campbell. They also have an interview set up for Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles on Friday.

Will the Lions’ next head coach come out of that bunch of five candidates or is there a coach in waiting that still hasn’t publicly entered the fray?There is always a chance new general manager Brad Holmes convinces the Lions to interview Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley—Dave Birkett said his name came up in Detroit’s second interview with Holmes—but Detroit won’t be able to do that until Los Angeles is out of the playoffs. There’s always, too, a chance the Lions are eyeing someone from the college ranks.

Whatever their choice may be, it looks like some of their top options are landing elsewhere.

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