The Detroit Lions have agreed to terms with Brad Holmes to be their general manager, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the agreement had not been announced.
Holmes led the Rams’ college scouting department for eight years and started his 18-year career with them as a public relations intern in 2003.
Holmes had a second interview in Detroit on Wednesday, meeting with the franchise’s leaders in person, and was impressive enough to land the job.
To replace Bob Quinn, who was fired along with coach Matt Patricia in November, the Lions interviewed many candidates: Rick Smith, Scott Pioli, Thomas Dimitroff, Louis Riddick, Jeff Ireland, Ed Dodds, Terry Fontenot, Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark, Rob Lohman and George Paton.
Holmes will now join Detroit’s search for a new coach. Dan Campbell, Arthur Smith, Marvin Lewis, Robert Saleh, Eric Bieniemy and interim head coach Darrell Bevell have interviewed for the opportunity to lead a team in clear need of direction.
Detroit hasn’t won a playoff game since beating Dallas on Jan. 5, 1992, and that victory was its only one in the postseason since winning the 1957 NFL title.
The Lions reached double digits in losses in 2020 for the third straight season and 13th time this century.
Holmes will have a lot of important decisions to make, including whether to keep or trade quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Detroit drafted Stafford with the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, coming off the NFL’s first 0-16 season, and faces the franchise’s largest rebuild since selecting the former Georgia star. He is 74-90-1 in the regular season as a starter and 0-3 in the playoffs.
Stafford has two years left on his $135 million, five-year contract. Holmes may decide to retool the roster by trading him to acquire more draft picks. He certainly could retain Stafford and focus on numerous needs, especially on defense.
The Lions allowed 519 points and 6,716 yards last season, breaking records set by their winless team in 2008 and statistically ranked among the worst in NFL history.
Detroit will have to rebuild through the draft, a key reason why the Lions see Holmes as a fit for the long-suffering franchise.
Holmes, who is from Tampa, Florida, managed scouts and evaluated every NFL-caliber prospect in the country as the director of college scouting the past eight years. He also had various roles as a scout for the Rams, who gave him his start in the league in their public relations department 18 years ago.
He played defensive tackle and was a captain at North Carolina A&T, graduating in 2002 with a degree in journalism and mass communications. His father, Mel, played offensive guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the early 1970s and uncle Luther Bradley was drafted as a defensive back by Detroit in 1978.
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