Dan Campbell: I want to win now, but not at the expense of the future

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The Lions will become well positioned for the 2022 and 2023 drafts once their blockbuster trade with the Rams becomes official at the start of the new league year in March.

But that doesn’t mean the team isn’t going to be competitive until two or three years down the line.

“Of course I want to win now,” head coach Dan Campbell said in an interview with Chris Burke of TheAthletic.com. “Who doesn’t want to win now? And we’ll do whatever we can to win now, but not to sacrifice what we can become long term. I look at things two years out — I don’t look at them right now. I want to know where we can be two years from now, even possibly three years from now. I know that’s crazy in this business, but if you want to have long-term success, something you can sustain, something where we can create a winner here in the [NFC] North for a long period of time, you have to build it properly. You have to have building blocks. You have to have a core.”

And Campbell feels that group of players should come from the draft, which is why the Lions don’t plan to go on a spending spree in free agency for the 2021 season.

“I think we do ourselves a disservice and we do the fan base a disservice if we say we’re going all in, right now,” Campbell said. “Because you know what happens? You’re going to stink in Year 2, Year 3. You’re not going to sustain.”

Most teams operate that way. But this likely isn’t the offseason for many teams to make splashy moves in free agency, as the salary cap is expected to be reduced to $175 to $180 million.

Regardless, the Lions have given themselves a good opportunity to build a solid foundation with extra first-round selections in the coming years.

10 responses to “Dan Campbell: I want to win now, but not at the expense of the future

  1. Regardless of Goff, this trade sets them up well for the future. If Goff isn’t their guy and they dump him in a couple of years, they have the opportunity to build a team that may attract a veteran QB. I feel like the last thing Detroit needs is building around an unproven high draft pick rookie QB.

  2. Really happy the Lions seem to be doing and saying all the right things, really hope it works out for them.

    It’s just a shame it had to be without Stafford, we all know how much he loved the city and the team, and he gave so much to them.

  3. for the first time since I became a fan in the early 70’s I have confidence in the regime… oh I know they will find a way to Lionize themselves but for now I’m looking forward to their work

  4. Not hard to see the forest through the trees here. The new Lions GM now has the model to rebuild the Rams in Detroit w Gofff at QB. They have their Todd Gurley in Swift. They need to build the D. What’s scary is that the Rams are gambling on a QB without a playoff win to win multiple playoff games. The guy with all the playoff experience is now in Detroit. Has a QB ever been traded weeks after winning a road playoff game?

  5. He might be a little bit crazy, but I love Dan Campbell. I think his players will embrace his personnality. I can appreciate his respect for the process and wanting to build his club the right way.

  6. Since the Lions admit this is a multi-year rebuild might as well fleece another team by trading back out of #7 for a QB-needy team to jump up. Load-up on more picks in rounds 2-3 and next year’s #1 from somebody (Bears, San Fran, Minnesota, or NE?).

  7. They’re not done making moves this off-season. I hope we never see Goff in Honolulu Blue and Silver.

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