The Detroit Lions are ready to pay as much as it takes to jump to the front of the rebuilding line.
If you can’t beat them, pay a King’s ransom to join them.
According to Ian Rapoport from NFL Network, that’s exactly what the Detroit Lions are attempting to do with their search for a general manager.
In a move that Rapoport is accurately describing as a ‘blockbuster’ the Lions are targeting John Schneider, currently the Seattle Seahawks general manager and one of the most well-respected executives in football.
Detroit is reportedly preparing what sounds like a Godfather offer that would land Schneider and put him in position to totally remake the Lions. It’s a move that reeks with exactly the type of desperation you’d expect from a team that has made the playoffs exactly three times since the turn of the century.
This is a Hail Mary if there ever has been one. Detroit has been spinning its tires for essentially as long as football has been played in the modern era, and are known more for wasting the primes of two generational talents — Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson — than they are for doing anything remotely positive.
But Schneider could very well change that.
Why would John Schneider leave Seahawks for Lions?
Schneider is the man largely credited for every good decision the Seahawks have made since he became a part of Seattle’s front office. His tenure has seen moves that landed the team Russell Wilson, put into place the pieces that developed into the Legion of Boom, and is the steady hand that has kept Seahawks ship righted even through treacherous waters.
So why would he ever leave Seattle?
Rapoport notes that despite the credit for mostly all of the Seahawks success, Schneider still doesn’t have full control over personnel decisions which could be the sweetener needed to make this sort of unthinkable move happen.
Seattle losing someone as influential and important as Schneider would be a total disaster. It’s no secret that the end of the Pete Carroll era is nearing, which could present a scenario where Schneider absorbs the powers he doesn’t have and is given full control of running the Seahawks. Just like in Detroit, Schneider would be able to hand-pick his next head coach and continue to build a winning franchise — expect he’d still be doing it in Seattle.
Detroit isn’t putting all of its eggs in Schneider’s basket. Marquee names like Thomas Dimitroff, Vikings VP of player personnel and assistant GM George Paton, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, and ex-Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli are all reportedly candidates the Lions consider highly-coveted.
But landing Schneider would be a game-changer that instantly and radically alters the culture and completely morphs how the rest of the league views the Lions. It could also be a fatal blow to any hope Seattle has of continuing its winning ways into this next decade.