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Jim Caldwell's future with Lions to be determined after season

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The status of Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell is once again murky.

In late September, the belief was Caldwell had received a multi-year contract extension from the Lions that stretched beyond 2018, insinuating his job would remain safe after this season. However, multiple sources informed of the situation say that is not the case.

In fact, Caldwell's extension is merely for one year, sources say, with an option following next season. Rather than lock him in for the future, it simply prevents Caldwell from being a lame duck coach this season. The Lions haven't made a decision on Caldwell's future, nor will they until this season ends. But the contract extension he received won't factor into it.

Prior to the news of the extension breaking in late September, Caldwell was thought to be in the final year of his deal. It turned out, he had actually signed an extension months prior, but the team chose not to announce the extension.

As the team got off to a fast, 2-0 start, he had the highest winning percentage (.580) in team history in the Super Bowl era. Yet Detroit has now lost two in a row, including a Thanksgiving defeat at the hands of the rival Minnesota Vikings. If the playoffs started now, they'd be out of it.

Caldwell has guided the Lions to the playoffs two of the last three years. General manager Bob Quinn did not hire Caldwell, but has kept him after inheriting him in 2016.

The organization has been mostly mum about Caldwell's contract status, and the coach has followed suit. After news broke of his extension in September, Caldwell wouldn't address it.

"I've told you guys, I'll answer it the same way now and you ask me eight weeks down the road," Caldwell said in September. "I'm only concerned about a couple things. It's my men and my mission. And our mission is to win. Everything else will take care of itself. And they aren't worried about anything else other than that. So, that's our focus."

His job status will also come into focus as the season concludes.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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