The Detroit Lions are undergoing a change with their ownership group heading into the 2020 season, as Martha Firestone Ford is stepping down from her role as principal owner of the team.
The Lions announced on Tuesday that Ford will step aside and her daughter, Sheila Ford Hamp, will assume the role of principal owner and chairman.
Martha Firestone Ford to step down as principal owner of Detroit Lions
Sheila Ford Hamp to succeed mother as team’s principal owner and chairman pic.twitter.com/HU0FehT0WO
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) June 23, 2020
Martha Ford, 94, has acted as the chairman of the Lions since 2014, when her husband William died. William Clay Ford had been the sole owner of the Lions since 1963.
The Lions have never won a championship under the Ford family’s ownership. They have won four titles as a franchise, with their last coming in 1957 before the AFL-NFL merger.
The Detroit Lions have been fielding phone calls for the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft, and they may have a taker.
The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero reports that the Lions are planning to pick in the Dolphins’ spot at No. 5, which suggests the teams would be swapping first-round picks.
One final thing on the Dolphins-Detroit trade situation. I’ve been told tonight by person familiar with what Lions are thinking that they are making plans for having the No. 5 overall selection tomorrow night — Miami’s first scheduled pick of the draft tomorrow.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) April 23, 2020
There has been noise about the Dolphins wanting to move up to No. 3, but it was supposedly for an offensive lineman. That makes little sense.
If Miami wants to move up that high, it’s probably to take a quarterback. We have long believed they want Tua Tagovailoa, and a trade would fit in with that desire. Detroit still might be able to draft Jeff Okudah at No. 5, so a move down by two spots would make sense for them.
The Detroit Lions are receiving trade calls regarding the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn told reporters via a Zoom call on Friday that they have had talks about trading the pick since the combine.
“We call every team in the league, see what they’re thinking,” Quinn said, via MLive.com. “Obviously I’ll handle the calls that are a little closer to our pick, especially this year, since we’re drafting at three. I’ve had a few of those conversations over the last week or so — had a few of those conversations, honestly, as far back as the combine — and then there will be more substantive talks next week if people are interested.”
The Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers are viewed as teams that might have interest in trading up, and it has to do with a battle over quarterbacks. The Dolphins are widely expected to take a quarterback, while the Chargers might go that road too. Joe Burrow is expected to be drafted No. 1 overall, and it’s my view that Miami wants Tua Tagovailoa, who could be available at No. 5. Would the Chargers or someone else trade up to try and get him? Does someone want Justin Herbert badly enough to move up to that spot? One report says the Chargers are not expected to make a trade.
Meanwhile, MLive.com suggests the Lions are unlikely to make a deal. They are expected to take former Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah with the pick.
- Detroit Lions
Darius Slay is thrilled to be with the Philadelphia Eagles now, and it sounds like some with the Detroit Lions think it’s better for the team chemistry that he’s gone.
Slay was drafted by the Lions in the second round in 2013 and had been with them his entire career until now. However, he had issues with Matt Patricia since the head coach took over the team.
Slay told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday that he lost respect for Patricia when the new head coach made an example out of Slay during training camp in 2018 over the cornerback posting on social media. That negative first impression stuck with Slay, who still described his relationship with Patricia as “solid” last season.
Still, some others didn’t see it that way.
One Lions source told the Free Press’ Dave Birkett that Slay was a “major cancer” last season and would “sit in meetings and not pay attention” then “go into the locker room and tell other players how the coaches are full of s–t.”
Slay read the article and laughed at it via social media.
A cancer lol!!! I would love to kno who said that! https://t.co/0jbT2WB1IY
— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) March 20, 2020
He also didn’t like that somebody aired him out anonymously.
It’s crazy to me that some people would literally let another man tell u that an be cool with it lol idk where y’all from but we don’t rock like that!!
— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) March 20, 2020
Slay believes that the Lions cleared out the players who didn’t fit with Patricia and are bringing in new ones. The trade of Quandre Diggs last season upset many of the team’s players.
Slay is in a happier place now and is getting a nice fat contract from the Eagles. Patricia is building the Lions in the way that he wants. If the former Patriots defensive coordinator doesn’t turn them around, he’ll be viewed as another example of a coach trying to take over like he’s Bill Belichick before winning anything and building relationships with his players. It sounds like that may have been the issue between him and Slay.
The Philadelphia Eagles are revamping their secondary after they released veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins this week, and they have now acquired one of the best cornerbacks in football.
The Eagles are sending a third-round draft pick and a fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay. Slay will receive an extension as part of the deal that will make him one of the highest-paid corners in football. The contract is worth $50 million over three seasons and includes $30 million guaranteed, according to Slay’s agent Drew Rosenhaus.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2020
The deal after the deal: the Eagles and new CB Darius Slay reached agreement on a 3-year, $50 million extension that includes $30 million guaranteed, @RosenhausSports tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2020
ESPN’s Josina Anderson first reported on Wednesday evening that the Eagles and Lions were working on a trade involving Slay.
Slay has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons, and he was set to earn just $10 million next season. That is well below market value for the top cornerbacks in the league, so you can understand why he wanted a new contract. The 29-year-old had 46 tackles and two interceptions last season. He has 19 career interceptions.
Having a strong secondary will be important for the Eagles, especially after the Dallas Cowboys just signed Amari Cooper to a huge extension. Slay will give Philly a major boost in that department.
The Detroit Lions are making an addition to their secondary, which will ease the potential departure of Darius Slay.
Detroit is signing cornerback Desmond Trufant to a 2-year deal worth $21 million, with $14 million guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Jordan Schultz.
Trufant had 18 tackles and four interceptions in nine games for the Falcons last season before suffering a broken forearm.
Adding Trufant will allow Detroit to continue shopping Darius Slay. Slay has been looking for a new contract and wants to be highly paid. A report last month said the Lions were open to trading him.
This may be what Detroit needed in order to have the confidence to get what they want for Slay in a trade.
The Detroit Lions have made a big move to land Big V.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, the Lions will sign Halapoulivaati Vaitai to a five-year deal worth $50 million.
After cutting Rick Wagner earlier in the week, the Lions needed a starter at right tackle. Vaitai should fill that role after being squeezed out of a starting job by the depth the Philadelphia Eagles had.
Vaitai has started 20 games in four seasons. It’ll be a big step up for him starting full time, but the Lions clearly believe he can do it considering how much money they’re giving him. It’s a risk, but clearly one they don’t mind taking.