For the second straight season, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was one of the more intriguing candidates on the coaching carousel. For the second straight season, he decided to take himself out of the running. Johnson informed both the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Commanders that he will be returning to Detroit to serve as the Lions offensive coordinator, as confirmed by CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones.
He told the teams he wants another shot at winning a Super Bowl with the Lions, per the Washington Post.
Johnson’s asking price, according to ESPN, scared off some teams that were searching for a new head coach. Previously, CBS Sports HQ senior NFL insider Josina Anderson reported that some NFL owners were told Johnson’s asking price is at least or around $15 million a year — which would automatically make him one of the highest-paid head coaches in the NFL. Johnson’s agent disputed this report.
At 37 years old, Johnson just wrapped up his second season as the offensive coordinator of the Lions. Detroit’s offensive attack finished top five in both points per game and yards per game in each of the last two seasons. In 2023, the Lions tied a franchise record with 12 wins and won the NFC North for the very first time. Detroit won two playoff games before their NFC Championship loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Lions had won just one playoff game in the previous 65 seasons combined.
Johnson has been with the Lions since 2019, working as an offensive quality control coach, tight ends coach and passing game coordinator before taking over as offensive coordinator in 2022. The North Carolina grad was a walk-on quarterback with the Tar Heels, and began his coaching career with Boston College as a grad assistant. Johnson also served as an offensive assistant with the Miami Dolphins for seven seasons before his jump to Detroit.