The Detroit Lions’ general manager and head coach are now officially “tied at the hip,” as Matt Patricia so eloquently put it in his introductory press conference earlier in the week.
Days after locking in Patricia as the team’s new head coach, GM Bob Quinn received an extension that turned Patricia’s figure of speech into a reality. The Lions announced Quinn’s extension on Friday, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports matches the length of the deal the team handed to Patricia when he signed on to take over for Jim Caldwell.
Quinn took over as Detroit’s GM in 2016 after spending his entire administrative career with the New England Patriots, hence, the obvious connection between he and his new head coach. Before taking his career to Detroit, Quinn served as a player personnel assistant (2000-01), pro scout (2002-03), regional scout (2004-07), national scout (2008), Assistant Director of Pro Personnel (2009-11), and Director of Pro Scouting (2012-15). While the Bill Belichick coaching tree hasn’t branched out with too many success stories, the Patriots’ front office has developed some quality executives in recent years.
The Lions drafted fives starters in Quinn’s first two years as the team, but his biggest deal was the landscape-changing contract for quarterback Matthew Stafford. Agreed upon in August, Stafford received a $50 million signing bonus and $92 million in guarantees. Both figures were NFL highs until Jimmy Garoppolo’s new deal stepped into the picture on Thursday. Garoppolo’s contract is the biggest deal in league history on an average-per-year basis, has $74.1 million guaranteed with $48.7 million coming up front in a signing bonus.
Things are changing in Detroit. The Lions parted ways with Jim Caldwell as their head coach and watched Teryl Austin leave to become the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator. Quinn’s next big decisions will come in free agency, with defensive end/pass-rushing ace Ezekiel Ansah representing the big fish among the Lions’ potential free agents.