After combing through a number of candidates, the Detroit Lions have found their next general manager. On Thursday, the club announced that it has agreed to terms with now-former Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes to take on the role of GM. According to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Holmes and the Lions have agreed to a five-year deal.
This hiring comes nearly a day after the organization officially held its second interview with Holmes regarding the GM vacancy that was opened following the midseason firing of Bob Quinn along with head coach Matt Patricia. Homes first interviewed with the Lions back on Jan. 7 and clearly impressed over these two sessions with Detroit's brass.
"On behalf of the entire Lions organization, I am thrilled to welcome Brad Holmes to Detroit," Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in a statement. "Several weeks ago when we embarked on this process, it was critical that we find the right person to fit our vision for this team. It was evident early on that Brad is a proven leader who is ready for this opportunity. We are thrilled to introduce him to our fans as a member of our football family."
Before officially landing on Holmes, the Lions did interview former Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, ex-Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, and others.
"Throughout our search for a new general manager, Brad was someone who stood out immediately," Lions president and CEO Rod Wood said. "His abilities as a critical thinker, along with his extensive experience implementing technology and analytics into his approach to scouting, were among the many decisive qualities Brad displayed in our time getting to know him during the interview process. We look forward to him helping lead our organization as we take the next steps as a team."
Homes accepting the Lions job, of course, puts him out of contention for the Atlanta Falcons GM job, which he was also in the running for. That job will reportedly go to Saints assistant GM of pro personnel Terry Fontenot.
Holmes has spent his entire NFL career with the Rams organization, starting as a PR intern in 2003. He switched over the scouting department in 2004 and eventually clawed his way up to director of college scouting for the club in 2013. Now, the 41-year-old is one of the youngest GMs in the league today.
From here, Holmes does have some work to do. One of the main decisions will come at the quarterback position, with veteran Matthew Stafford now having an out in his contract that could clear $14 million if they move on from him this offseason. Detroit owns the No. 7 overall pick at the 2021 NFL Draft, so that could be an area where Holmes makes one of his first big splashes as the new Lions GM.
As for Los Angeles, they'll become the first team to reap the rewards from the NFL's new hiring rules of minority candidates that was passed in November. With Holmes now with the Lions, the Rams will receive a third-round compensatory pick this year and next.