The Detroit Lions ownership has made its mandate to coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn clear: Win in 2020 or else.
"To be clear, our expectation is for the Lions to be a playoff contender in 2020," the statement read.
"As we evaluate this season, we look beyond just our record," the letter stated. "We are striving to build a team with a strong foundation of high-character players and coaches, that is physically and mentally tough, with depth at every position and one that can be successful over many years, not just one season. We see signs of this foundation in our team's toughness, competitiveness and culture. Injuries happen in the NFL and are never an excuse. Nonetheless, our team has played through serious injuries this season to some of our best players. Despite the injuries, we have remained competitive in each game and our team depth showed up as a strength."
In two seasons under Patricia, the Lions currently sport a 9-20-1 record. In four seasons with Quinn at GM, Detroit has a 27-34-1 record.
Sending a mandate for a winning season could have a major influence on how the GM and coach approach the offseason and react if losses mount early in the 2020 campaign. By coming out forcefully, Detroit's ownership is putting its team on notice.