The Lions began their search for a new general manager with a series of interviews before the regular season ended. But Detroit brass is also plotting a potential blockbuster move.
Sources say the Lions plan to pursue Seahawks GM John Schneider for their vacant GM opening, a hire that would send shockwaves around the NFL.
One of the league's most respected personnel people and managers, Schneider has teamed with head coach Pete Carroll to lead Seattle to two Super Bowls with one win and make the organization a perennial playoff participant. The Seahawks are 111-63-1 in the Carroll-Schneider era and 11-4 this season, winning the NFC West a fifth time.
While it would be unthinkable in any other circumstance for the Lions to be able to lure a decorated GM such as him, Schneider doesn't have primary authority over all personnel decisions in Seattle -- Carroll does. That hasn't really mattered, since Carroll and Schneider are in lockstep, but under the NFL's anti-tampering policy, the Lions or another team could try to interview Schneider if it offered him full control. Another team is also likely going to make a run at Schneider.
While Carroll recently agreed to a contract extension through 2025, Schneider has just one year left on his contract.
Detroit is looking for an experienced GM, but another top candidate would be Vikings VP of player personnel and assistant GM George Paton. Though he hasn't been a GM before, Paton is widely respected and works hand-in-hand with GM Rick Spielman, whose brother, Chris, happens to be a newly hired special assistant to Lions chairman Sheila Ford Hamp and is part of the search process.
Detroit has already interviewed for its vacant GM job three in-house candidates -- personnel director Lance Newmark, VP of player personnel Kyle O'Brien and pro scouting director Rob Lohman -- as well as veteran former GMs Scott Pioli, Thomas Dimitroff and Rick Smith and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick.
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