Last week, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd dropped an interesting report regarding the Detroit Lions and Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. Per Dodd, Campbell turned down an eight-year, $68.5 million deal to become the next Lions coach, and was even potentially given the keys to have “full control” of the franchise.
Immediately, there were some sketchy things about the report, as our own Erik Schlitt talked about here, and later in the week a “Lions source” told the Detroit Free Press that the Lions never sent an offer to Campbell, although they were interested.
Now MMQB’s Albert Breer is joining the Lions source in saying there is no validity to the report that the Lions offered the Iowa State coach that humongous deal.
“The Lions’ interest in Matt Campbell was real and should come as no surprise, but contract terms were never even discussed,” Breer wrote in his Monday column.
Breer went into more details than we’ve had on the situation, noting that the two sides spoke “a couple times” about the job. It appears some of the interest grew from the existing relationship between Campbell and Lions assistant Chris Spielman, both of whom come from the same hometown of Massillon, Ohio.
Talks were definitely serious, as the Lions were reportedly prepared to fly out and visit Campbell when the college coach suddenly bowed out.
“A few upperclassmen told Campbell that they’d stay, and not head off to the NFL, if he did too,” Breer wrote. “So really it sounds like this was a matter of loyalty (to his players) and timing (having a really good team coming back after last year’s Fiesta Bowl win).”
According to Breer, five of the seven teams looking for a new head coach this offseason reached out to interview Campbell, but the Lions were the only one he formally talked to. But, again, it appears no offer was ever made, and certainly not one the likes of the one CBS was reporting.
I think we can all move on now.