Lions Begin to Clean House, Fire Mayhew and Lewand

Well, it was only a matter of time. After a horrendous start to the season, the Lions announced Thursday that they have fired team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew.

The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Lions are currently off to a 1-7 start, good for dead last in the NFL. Their latest blunder was a 45-10 loss to a mediocre Kansas City Chiefs team in London this past weekend. The team was completely out of sync and looked nothing like the 11-5 playoff team we saw last year.

Since Mayhew took over in 2009, the Lions have a record of 41-62 and are 0-2 in the postseason.

Detroit News writer and 97.1 The Ticket radio show co-host Terry Foster weighed in on what he believes the scene was like in Allen Park this afternoon:

Past and present Lions, including wide receiver Golden Tate took to Twitter to react to the news.

Former Lions defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson wasn’t careful to hide his excitement with the Lions’ move.

One of the biggest complaints against Mayhew during his time with the Lions was his draft picks. A tweet posted by Schefter shows the struggles that the Lions have had in recent drafts.

In 2009 he took quarterback Matthew Stafford first overall following the team’s infamous 0-16 season. That same year they took tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who has been known for drops and fighting injuries his entire career.

In the 2010 and 2011 drafts, Mayhew drafted defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley along with running back Jahvid Best, all of whom are have moved on from Detroit.

In the first round of their 2012 draft, they took offensive tackle Riley Reiff, who has been mediocre at best.

The 2013 draft was probably Mayhew’s best. In the first round he selected defensive end Ziggy Ansah, then followed that up with cornerback Darius Slay, guard Larry Warford and running back Theo Riddick. Although Slay has struggled a bit lately, the rest of the guys have played key roles in reviving the Lions’ defense.

In 2014 and 2015 the same trend continued for Mayhew. Besides tight end Eric Ebron, who was starting to show signs of progress this season before he was injured, Mayhew’s draft picks have not panned out as they thought they would. For a team who has been known to draft the best player available, they have done almost everything but that.

The truth of the matter is, the Lions need someone who knows what they’re doing on draft day. They need to be able to do a better job of scouting and finding players that could actually have a successful career in the NFL. That was something that was not happening under Mayhew, so it was time for him to go.

This was the best possible move the Lions could have made. They are off to a terrible start this season and are well on their way to a top-five draft pick in the offseason. It is up to the new GM and president to come in right away and use that draft pick wisely. The Lions have many strong needs both offensively and defensively, so it will be up to the new guys to actually draft the best  players available at those positions, something Mayhew had claimed to have been doing for years.

With all of the uncertainty around the Lions right now, there is one thing that Lion nation can believe in, the hiring of the next team president and GM will be one of the most important hirings in Detroit Lions history.