Could the Lions bring in fired Vikings general manager Rick Spielman?

SideLion Report

With a notable tie to the organization, could now former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman land with the Lions?

It’s already been a particularly dark Black Monday in the NFC North, as the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears each fired their head coach and general manager. The Detroit Lions now have the second-longest tenured head coach and GM in the division.

The Vikings’ house-cleaning brought an end to a run in the organization dating back to 2006 for general manager Rick Spielman. He was Minnesota’s vice president of player personnel before becoming general manager in 2012. Prior to that run with the Vikings, he was in the Miami Dolphins organization from 2000-2004. All things considered, he may not be unemployed that long.

Could the Lions add Rick Spielman to the organization?

Let’s start here–the Lions are not getting rid of general manager Brad Holmes one year in. He did some good work in the 2021 draft, and found some undrafted players who made contributions this season. Time will tell if he continues to build a good roster, but there’s no way Holmes is fired after one  year on the job.

That said, the idea of Rick Spielman to the Lions has gotten a bit of buzz.

In outlining some coaching and general manager moves that could be coming heading into Week 18’s Sunday action, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio ended his blurb about Spielman like this.

If, of course, the Vikings let Spielman go, they’ll have to assume the risk that he’ll make a beeline for the Lion, where his brother, Chris, has a major position of influence and power — even if that’s not widely realized.

Chris Spielman, one of the most accomplished defensive players in Lions’ history and Rick’s brother, is now a special assistant to the Lions’ owner and CEO. If he indeed has a lot of influence in the organization, bringing his brother in could happen quickly.

Rick Spielman has a background in scouting. In fact, he got his start as a college scout for the Lions in 1990 and spent two seasons (1995-1996) as a college and pro scout for Detroit. Before his time with the Dolphins, he was director of pro personnel for the Chicago Bears from 1997-1999.

It comes down to how Rick Spielman would fit in the Lions’ front office and organizational structure, and what role/title he would accept. He may have an opportunity to be a general manager immediately somewhere (the Bears?), and the Lions can’t offer him that role unless they inexplicably fire Holmes.

So it’s hard to see Spielman joining his brother in Detroit, unless he has no better options and wants to work right away rather than sit out and collect contract money coming to him from the Vikings. But it’s not out of the question, and to overlook nepotism driving the move if Chris Spielman wants it is foolish.

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