Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson had significant interest from other teams, but has decided to stay put in Detroit to continue to run their offense. Johnson pulled his name out of the hat for jobs with the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Commanders, but not until one of those teams was already on their way to Michigan.
Johnson informed the Commanders that he no longer wants to be considered for the job while they were in the air headed for Detroit, per CBS Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones. Washington also planned to interview Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, so the trip was not a waste.
This is the second consecutive year Johnson has taken himself out of the running, despite being a candidate.
Johnson told the other teams he is staying in Detroit because he wants another shot at winning a Super Bowl with the Lions, per the Washington Post.
The price tag Johnson wanted was reportedly an issue and scared off some teams in search of their next head coach, according to ESPN. CBS Sports HQ senior NFL insider Josina Anderson previously reported that NFL owners were told he wanted at or around $15 million a year, but Johnson’s agent disputed the report.
The Lions came close to making their first Super Bowl: 30 minutes into the NFC Championship game, up 17 points, it looked like they were heading to Las Vegas for the big game. The San Francisco 49ers ended up winning 34-31 in a Lions collapse that included dropped passes, penalties and questionable coaching decisions.
After the loss, head coach Dan Campbell said he told his players that “this may have been our only shot” to make the Super Bowl, but clearly Johnson believes they have another chance next year, and wants to be around for it.