The Detroit Lions general manager and coaching search drags on through yet another week, but things could be pushing to an interesting conclusion eventually in the days ahead.
According to Mike Stone, a radio personality from 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, the team has made the offer to Kevin Colbert from the Pittsburgh Steelers to become the team’s general manager, and it could be close to happening. Stone broke that story on Wednesday’s Stoney & Jansen with Heather Show after speaking to one of his sources.
— Jon Poole (@JonPooleDET) January 13, 2021
A report out of Pittsburgh from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette threw some water on the notion that anything was close or done, though, considering the team has not requested permission to speak with Colbert and would have to in order to make him an offer.
Source: The Steelers have not received a request for permission from the Detroit Lions to speak to GM Kevin Colbert. They cannot talk to Colbert without the Steelers' consent.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 13, 2021
Obviously, Colbert still has to accept the job for this rumor to be proven true, and it’s possible this pursuit ends like John Schneider’s did, with Colbert sticking in Pittsburgh on a new deal. The Lions would also have to get permission to speak with him first. Even such, it’s interesting that there continues to be smoke on the Detroit end as it relates to the potential pursuit of Colbert.
Lions Reportedly Wanted to Give Kevin Colbert Major Offer
Rumors of a major offer to Colbert have been swirling for days in Detroit and elsewhere. Just Tuesday, Jason La Canfora hinted that the Lions were prepared to come with a strong offer for Colbert to try and give him something big to consider and turn down.
La Canfora on the Lions courting Kevin Colbert for GM: "They're trying to goose this pot. I fully expect them to give him something to think about. I just don't know if he would do it. Everybody I've talked to says, 'no way.' I think Detroit wants to hear that for themselves."
— The Fan Morning Show (@FanMorningShow) January 12, 2021
Late last week, La Canfora hinted again the Lions were gearing up to put the bug in Colbert’s ear about jumping ship and coming to Detroit. As he reported, the team was still pondering a significant offer to Colbert and have been working tirelessly to come up with a plan to try and lure him away, though it could still be a long-shot to play out.
La Canfora wrote in a piece:
“The Lions continue to get their ducks in a row about a potential significant offer for Steelers GM Kevin Colbert. He has long been their dream hire, and his contract with Pittsburgh is expiring. Those who know him best doubt he ever considers leaving the Steelers — and he has been going year-to-year with his deals with the club at his own request — but the Lions have been working for this for weeks behind the scenes and would love to be able to lure him away. Should the Steelers lose Sunday night, I’d expect them to make their move. Again, I don’t see it happening, but he is the guy they covet the most, for good reason…”
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press told fans on Wednesday not to close the door to a potential Colbert marriage just yet. Obviously, stay tuned.
Kevin Colbert Resume
There’s little doubting why the Lions would be interested in Colbert. After he had a nine year career as Detroit’s director of pro scouting from 1990-1999, he became Pittsburgh’s Director of Football Operations from 2000-2010 and then took over as general manager in 2010. He won Super Bowl XL as well as XLIII with the Steelers, and has positioned Pittsburgh well for decades with solid drafting and leadership. To that end, if the Lions could add Colbert to the mix, it would be a huge score for their franchise in terms of adding one of the most capable executives in the league.
Clearly, Colbert could be the one name Detroit wants the most for the job as these reports show. Are the sides closing in on a deal? That remains to be seen, but smoke continues to build.