The Detroit Lions made a hard decision this week. The type of difficult decision contenders make. Does this mean these Motor City cats are finally heading in the right direction?
One of the things that separate the winners from the losers is the ability to make the hard decisions. Too many opportunities are missed due to the inability to keep emotion or fan opinions out of the decision-making process.
As soon as the Lions announced the hiring of new general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell, the city of Detroit was knocked on its ear by the Lions trading the franchise’s all-time leading passer, Matthew Stafford, to the Los Angeles Rams. While it certainly stung for many fans, the fact that the news had broke that Stafford had requested the trade defused criticism.
Matthew wanted to play for a winner and his request allowed the Lions to do what they needed to do; rebuild. The Motor City faithful didn’t want to hear about being patient again, but the standard operating procedure that had gone on for decades with this franchise of ‘retooling’ needed to be put to a stop so a real quality rebuild could be done.
The truth is that a real rebuild couldn’t happen with Matthew here. The organization would be virtually obligated to continue to ‘retool’. Instead, Stafford put Detroit on his back one last time and requested what he needed for himself and his legacy, while also freeing the Lions to do what had to be done.
If this move had been born of Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell alone it would have been considered a hard decision that would have invariably brought backlash and the scrutiny would have shown on Holmes and Campbell with the intensity of a white-hot sun.
Instead, it was a hard decision made by Matthew and there is nothing that can be said about the trade except that Holmes made the most of the situation. The return of two future first-round picks, a third-round selection that was used this year, and Jared Goff gives the Lions some ammunition to build with.
However, the first real hard decision of this regime occurred this week and it shocked many. However, it is the type of hard decision that contenders aren’t afraid to make.