"As far as I know, we're going to be back," Mayhew said Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press. "It could be like 'Survivor,' you know, when you go back and write somebody's name down.
"But no, as far as I know we're going to be back, and I've spoken to Mr. (William Clay) Ford. I've spoken to Bill, and we talked about our plans going forward, and we're certainly working on getting things right."
There were a variety of subjects to be addressed after the Lions' disappointing 4-12 season. Mayhew hopes to restructure quarterback Matt Stafford's contract to give the team salary-cap relief in 2013. Mayhew did the same with Stafford, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and wide receiver Nate Burleson before this season.
» Mayhew said no decision has been made regarding troubled wide receiver Titus Young's future with the Lions. Young was sent home during organized team activities last year for punching teammate Louis Delmas. Young also was suspended midseason by the team because of his conduct. His attitude problems heavily outweigh his football contributions.
» Mayhew admitted it was a mistake relying on Jahvid Best after 2011. The often-concussed running back never was cleared to play in 2012.
» Mayhew said Suh was the only player who improved on defense. That's not a good sign for defensive end Cliff Avril, who held out for a long-term contract but settled for the one-year franchise tag in 2012. The Lions won't give Avril the lucrative deal he desires.
» Mayhew also said he doesn't expect there to be any further coaching changes.
This clearly is a make-or-break offseason for Mayhew and Schwartz. They have been in Detroit for four full seasons and had only one playoff appearance. They were rebuilding from the disastrous period known as the Matt Millen Era, but progress halted in 2012. The running game needs to improve now that Mayhew has come to grips with Best's status. The secondary needs to be overhauled. Stafford needs to get back on track after he regressed. A few less arrests would be nice, too.
There's no more leeway in the Motor City.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.