Many seem stunned by the decision of the Detroit Lions to give coach Dan Campbell a six-year deal. But the duration of the contract is less about Campbell and more about the circumstances.
The Lions continue to be mired in dysfunction. It’s been 30 years since they won a playoff game. They’ve never played in a Super Bowl. Only once have they been within a game of playing for a Lombardi Trophy.
Thus, in order to make the job attractive, the Lions needed to send a message to Campbell and anyone else who may be paying attention that they’re committed to giving the next coach a chance to turn things around, without the kind of quick hook that former coach Matt Patricia received during his third year on the job.
Of course, the six-year deal doesn’t keep the Lions from moving on prematurely. But it gives Campbell security, and it makes the job more attractive. Whether Campbell is the coach the Lions should have been trying to attract will become obvious in time.
As Charean Williams explained it during Wednesday’s PFT PM, Campbell represents in many respects the exact opposite of Patricia. The challenge now becomes achieving results that will be the exact opposite of what the franchise has endured for decades.