There’s been plenty of speculation regarding whether Ken Whisenhunt chose the Titans over the Lions and if so why.
They may have been one million reasons. Per year.
According to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com, the Titans offered Whisenhunt $1 million per year more than the Lions.
On a four-year deal, that’s a difference of (abacus engaged) $4 million. And that’s more than enough of a difference when it comes to picking an employer.
If accurate, it could be that the Lions’ offer was limited by the fact that former coach Jim Schwartz will make $6 million per year over each of the next two, while the Titans owe Mike Munchak only $3 million or so for one final year of his contract. It also could be that the Lions simply weren’t as motivated as the Titans to get the deal done, especially with Jim Caldwell on the verge of taking the job.
From Whisenhunt’s perspective, the proximity of Nashville to his hometown of Atlanta surely didn’t hurt. Some league insiders have suggested that Whisenhunt had a better feeling about working with Titans G.M. Ruston Webster than with Lions G.M. Martin Mayhew.
Whatever the reason(s), the presence of quarterback Matthew Stafford wasn’t enough to get Whisenhunt to Detroit. It’d be interesting to know what Whisenhunt truly thinks of Stafford — and whether there’s a chance Whisehunt shied away from the job because of Stafford, who has begun to draw criticism for not fully embracing the role of franchise quarterback.