Can someone please explain to me why Martin Mayhew still has a job?


The Detroit Lions have finally signed their first round draft pick in the 2014 NFL draft, tight end Eric Ebron. They were able to do so after releasing former starting cornerback Chris Houston. The sad part is, both of sentences are loaded with miscues pertaining to general manager Martin Mayhew’s complete failure as their leader.

There are plenty of examples that you could draw up to make it look like Mayhew has done a good job. Ziggy Ansah, last year’s top pick, turned out great. He also found guard Larry Warford in the third round and he very well good have made the pro bowl last year. Those are just a few. Great, fine, but they are just masks on a clown. Mayhew really screwed this offseason up badly, and here’s how.

The real reason Houston was released is because Mayhew never was able to renegotiate Ndamukong Suh’s rookie contract and Suh is currently counting as over $22 million against the Lions salary cap. To make matters worse, the Lions rejected their fifth year option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who they drafted one year after Suh making it by far the most expensive defensive tackle tandem in the NFL and a misuse of money that could have and should have been spent elsewhere. The “best player available” scenario does not work in the salary cap world. The Lions are paying the price for being at the bottom of the NFL before the new collective bargaining agreement changed the way rookie contracts are scheduled, but that is no excuse, the Lions earned that punishment.

Carrying on with this offseason, the Lions made no move to sign a cornerback, or draft one in the high rounds despite the fact that they were obviously aware that Houston’s foot injury might not heal in time for training camp or even if it would heal at all. Instead of making a play for cornerback Darqueze Dennard who would have fit the new defensive scheme perfectly, Mayhew instead chose to draft the “best player available” and selected Ebron. Oh, and did I mention, he signed Brandon Pettigrew to an extension in the offseason. Pettigrew, by the way, happens to be the last tight end drafted that highly in the NFL until, you guessed it, Ebron. The Lions obviously needed to shore up their offensive playmakers this year to help Matthew Stafford excel and they did so by signing free agent Golden Tate. Of course, if they hadn’t wasted picks on Titus Young and the already injured before he got here Ryan Broyles, they wouldn’t have been in this position.

Mayhew is a man operating with no discernible plan. The Lions are the laughing stock of the NFL and will continue to be so until major changes are made. The starting cornerbacks for your Detroit Lions fans are as follows: Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis. Congratulations, you may end up with a defense that’s even worse then last years mess. Think ahead though, at least you won’t have to watch Fairley show up only when he wants to because he’ll be gone next year, and at this point, Suh may be as well. I guess you can look forward to having two tight ends with unreliable hands sharing a position that shouldn’t be costing any team that much money though, that’s a positive thing, right?

Mayhew needs to go. This defense is a mess, there is obviously no long term plan, and keep in mind, they couldn’t resign Shaun Hill as their reliable backup because of the Suh contract mess too. Instead, you’re one bad play from watching that stepping out of the back of the end zone quarterback Dan Orlovsky throwing to the talent Mayhew has so aptly put together. Enjoy that. Just for icing on top of the cake, he didn’t land the coach he wanted, instead ending up with Jim Caldwell, who started 14-0 with the Colts, and afterwards dipped to 12-22 before being fired and was also the offensive coordinator for one the NFL’s worst offenses last year with the Baltimore Ravens.

So, can someone please explain to me why Martin Mayhew still has a job?

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  • Larry

    You are so far off base, we may have to call the so called writers police. Houston has a degenerative problem with the toe. The Lions are cutting their unfortunate losses period.

  • gregg rice

    Some valid points. This is Mayhews last year if we don’t make the playoffs, everyone knows it….but to say and imply our d is a HUGE disaster is somewhat comical….great run d, top 3rd down d, best red zone/goal line d…..if we take the divsion, which we have the talent to, his job is safe….if not he’s gone……

  • Don

    You are an idiot, but we knew that. Get over it. Write about the whole scenario, not how to make yourself look good. Mayhew has put together a talented group of players and has improved the Lions since he took over.

    • JollyRogers

      I agree. The Lions are a mess and only going downhill.

      • michael bernard

        You guys are chickens. You are predicting the worst so that when the Lions do well you can be pleasantly surprised.
        And blaming injured players on Mayhew is only right with Titus Young. He missed a full year of college when he was probably having his first Manic episode (the last run of problems clearly was another episode of Mania. Look up what Mania is.) He should have know that, but it’s bias to blame Mayhew for LeShoure breaking an achilles tendon in training camp, or Broyles having multiple injuries. Many players have one major injury in very successful careers.
        So the question is, How can we take your snid challenges as nothing more than newspaper filler?

    • bob d

      OK, he has put together a moderately talented group. They’re no San Francisco, but I’ll give you that. Anash & Woodford, great. His drafting of stud CB’s in 2012 in the later rounds may still turn out to be inspired. But doesn’t he have a responsibility to develop them instead of playing the highly-rated 35-year-old Mathis who takes no chances and gets no interceptions? Oh, lets blame Schwartz for not being on the same page!

  • McSquirrel

    If you want to fire someone in the front office you might look at Lewand’s contract management. I think Mayhew is in clear, has done everything you want from a GM. Mayhew vs. Millen is a slam dunk folks. You are guys are dissatisfied and want to see some wins, they will come this year….

  • Drumz

    Ummmm……you might want to get your facts straight. Suh ALREADY re-negotiated his rookie contract one or two seasons ago to create cap space.

  • DR Collins

    To quote an old NFL coach…Jeremy, you think you know, but you don’t know and you will never know!

  • Nasty Nate

    Can someone please explain to me why Jeremy Mackinder still has a job? This entire article is factually incorrect. Houston was released due to injury and had a horrible season last year before getting hurt. Mathis and Slay both started quite a few games last year, Mathis was solid and Slay improved greatly at the end of the season. Both outplayed Houston. The Lions have stated from day one they would sign their rookies with or without an extension for Suh. They have 2 seasons left to resign Suh and Fairley. There is no point in picking up Fairley’s option if he does not play well consistently and if he finally does live up to his potential then it is time to pay the man. Lions offense looks like a varsity squad any time Calvin Johnson gets hurt so it was no secret they were looking for someone who can catch the ball with pick number 10, and even though Pettigrew is a great all around tight end he does have issues with drops during clutch moments. Anyone not named Megatron who can catch improves the team. Like them or not Mayhew and friends have brought more talent to this team in a single season then the last GM did in his entire Lions career. I see better rants by angry Lions fans calling for Meyhew’s job on the Lions website comment boards and at least their reasons have some sound logic behind them. Mackinder, please quit your job and let some unemployed Lions fan who actually follows the team write this column.

  • chico

    Jeremy you are exactly right with mayhew. You could throw in Lewand also. The lions organization were the only people on the planet that didn’t know they needed help in the secondary….Every fan, every sportswriter, everyone but them.

  • johnny009

    Mayhew and company have obviously done better than Millen fiasco; big deal. My grandmother could have done same.
    Not signing some type of impact player on defense with 10th pick leaves gaping holes that will be exploited week in and week out.
    As good as Stafford thinks he is, he cannot continuously win shootouts.
    Writing is on the wall; Suh, Fairly gone, Houston cut.
    Lions finish 5-11.

  • TuffLynx

    Wow. Just wow. How can you call yourself any kind of an expert on the Detroit Lions if you do not understand that Tom Lewand is responsible for the contracts and not Martin Mayhew. Go look at the Detroit Lions official web site and look at the administration page. You will find that Martin Mayhew is actually lower than Lewand on the org chart. Mayhew has no power over Lewand at all. Both Lewand and Mayhew report directly to William Clay Ford Jr. I can agree that some mistakes have been made but at least have the integrity to blame the right people for the errors.

  • Matt

    I don’t understand how people who have no idea about grammar and punctuation become writers. Please, learn how to write appropriately if you intend to be taken seriously! It would take two minutes to have a friend proofread your articles before you post them – heck, I’d do it for you. That point aside, this is, quite possibly, the worst analysis I’ve seen by a writer that has been advertised on major national sites. Basically, you are an angry, beligerant fan who is throwing a tantrum – not actually presenting logical points. Your first paragraph immediately highlights the idiocy of the piece. First, the Lions are looking to make an immediate impact in the division, and secure a playoff spot. As others have noted, Mayhew is probably out after this season if this goal is not attained. Thus, why would he draft a defensive back, when they historically take around three years to develop into starting-level talent. Our roster is already loaded with young, developing talent in this spot, about to hit the third year mark. I know that most were not drafted high, but one can almost guarantee that anyone drafted this year would not be an impact player right now. Obviously, then, the lions needed to go offense to make an immediate improvement. Their highest ranked receivers were already gone, and Ebron was the clear top offensive receiving weapon at that spot. It was the correct move if the team is to win now. Second, if Houston is injured to the point where he is probably not going to be useful, it is best to just cut ties and be done with it. Blaming Mayhew for Houston getting injured is ridiculous. The fact that they needed money to sign Ebron is probably the reason why he got released when he did, but it was not the deciding factor. He would have been released anyway. On top of that, your accusation that Suh not getting an extension nailed down was the reason for Houston’s release, even if true, is not Mayhew’s fault. He has little to nothing to do with that process. Finally, the defense is not the trainwreck that everyone seems to think it is. The defense was middle of the pack or better in almost all categories, and the upgrades made to the pass-rush unit will only help. In all, Mayhew has put together an incredibly talented roster with the ability to make a deep playoff run. By far the biggest weakness of the team is its propensity for mental lapses, not the secondary. Caldwell is an excellent coach with regards to working hard on the mental aspect of the game, and has helped quarterbacks such as Manning with this in the past to great success. If that mentality can reach the lions organization, we could really see a playoff caliber team this season.