Commanders poach another key overseer of Lions rebuild


Three years ago, the thought of individuals who work for the Detroit Lions being sought after by other National Football League teams would have been ridiculous.

The Lions had been the league’s laughing stock for years and the organization was generally considered if not the worst, one of the worst in the NFL.

Things have certainly changed.

Detroit has just lost its second member of the front office during the offseason. … To the same team.

The Washington Commanders named Lions senior director of football administration Brandon Sosna as their new senior vice president of football operations on Monday.

The Commanders previously hired Detroit senior director of player personnel Lance Newmark as assistant general manager.

Sosna had been the Lions’ lead contract negotiator for more than a year. He oversaw the salary cap and helped negotiate the contract extensions of quarterback Jared Goff, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and offensive tackle Penei Sewell. Sosna had also been praised by Detroit general manager Brad Holmes for his work in free agency.

The Commanders, among a few other teams, also interviewed Detroit offensive and defensive coordinators Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn to be their head coach. Johnson ultimately pulled out of the running for the Atlanta Falcons head-coaching position to remain the Lions OC.

But the Lions have gone from being the (largely unsuccessful) hunters to the hunted. And it’s a nod to the success that the franchise has had since Sheila Ford Hamp took over as Detroit’s principal owner and chairwoman in June 2020.

She hired Holmes as general manager and Dan Campbell as head coach. Then the team improved from 3-13-1 in 2021 to 9-8 in 2022 to 12-5, two playoff wins and a trip to the NFC Championship Game last season.

The NFL is a copy-cat league and other teams want a piece of that kind of turnaround.

But it still seems surreal that they’re trying to copy the Lions.

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