Hall of Fame Coach: Lions Will Rebuild, Should Make Major Shakeup

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford runs away during Bears vs. Lions.

The Detroit Lions have to decide what they are going to do in the future over the next few months, but the choice should be clear as it relates to the thoughts of one former coach.

Jimmy Johnson of Fox Sports and former head coach in the league with Dallas and Miami, sees the writing on the wall for the Lions. As he admits, the team is going to be rebuilding and should choose to move on from quarterback Matthew Stafford as a result.

Johnson hopped on Twitter and talked about how the Lions should have made the move last offseason when they had a shot at Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa, a pair of quarterbacks who have burst on the scene at times during the 2020 season.

From there, Johnson said he believes the Lions are going to move toward a rebuild, and if they do that, they should look to do it with a younger quarterback.

If Johnson is right and the Lions will rebuild, it could make sense to move on from Stafford. Even such, there’s enough in place that the Lions might have to simply re-tool rather than strip everything down. It will all depend on who becomes the new coach and general manager and what they think about Stafford’s talent level at this point in his career.

Matthew Stafford’s Future Will Dominate 2020 Offseason

The Lions will head into the offseason with plenty of decisions to make as it relates to the future of the team. The biggest is likely to be what happens with Matthew Stafford and the quarterback room. It would be expensive for the Lions to cut Stafford and move on given his $22 million dead cap hit, but a trade could always be worked with a quarterback needy team. There will be plenty of teams that could eyeball a Stafford trade this offseason if Detroit’s new brass decides to go that way. Teams like the 49ers, Bears, Eagles, Patriots and Colts could all see a quarterback shakeup and if Stafford were introduced onto the market, it would likely change the game this offseason with regards to what happens at quarterback.

Detroit can keep Stafford or trade him this offseason. There might be little harm to continuing with the quarterback given he can still excel as the team’s big win over the Bears showed, but it’s clear this is going to be an issue to remember the rest of the way.

Jimmy Johnson Picks Jason Garrett for Lions Coach

Johnson has explained the best way to proceed for the Lions at head coach, as well. Last Sunday, the coach was asked on the Fox Sports pregame show what he would do with the Detroit opening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he said he would back former Dallas Cowboys’ boss Jason Garrett for the gig in the Motor City.

Specifically, here’s what Johnson said on the telecast about Garrett and why he thinks he would fit the Lions so well:

“They’re going to totally rebuild. They need a coach. I’m going to throw out a name for you. I know I’m biased but check out the facts on Jason Garrett. He was in a tough situation there in Dallas, he won the division three times, he was in the final eight four times with two different quarterbacks. Plus he’s doing a great job with that New York Giants offense and a depleted roster.”

It’s possible that Garrett was a much better coach than he has ever received credit for being in Dallas, but this is the type of name that Lions fans would downright be livid with as a head coaching candidate. It’s no knock on Garrett the man, but if the Lions are going to commit to change, most will feel they need to do it on a much bigger scope than hiring a guy who repeatedly went 8-8. If the team was going for Garrett, they’d likely be trying not to rebuild, meaning Johnson’s logic could be getting crossed up.

Regardless, the Lions are apparently going to be rebuilding and should look at big changes across the franchise according to Johnson.

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