The Lions could be nearing a blockbuster hire at general manager.
According to Mike Stone of 97.1 The Ticket, the team has made an offer to longtime Steelers GM Kevin Colbert -- and Colbert is 'close' to accepting. It's now on Steelers ownership to make a counteroffer to prevent Colbert from leaving.
“I just got off the phone with a trusted source who has told me that the Lions have made an offer to Kevin Colbert, and it’s pretty close to happening,” Stone said Wednesday morning on the Stoney & Jansen Show. “I’m not going to say it’s done or anything like that. Someone I know pretty well, somewhat connected, said that they’ve offered the job to Kevin Colbert, and unless the Rooney's come up with some kind of crazy counteroffer he might be coming back.
"I’m not confident enough to say it’s done or to say breaking news, but a source has told me that the Lions have offered the gig to Kevin Colbert, and it’s close."
But don't get too excited. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers have not received a request from the Lions to speak with Colbert -- and the Lions can't do so until that request is made and granted.
Colbert, obviously, would be a home run hire for Detroit. He was director of pro scouting for the Lions from 1990-99, during which time they made six playoff appearances. He left to join the Steelers in 2000 and has been GM since 2010. Pittsburgh has 10 division titles, three Super Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl titles during Colbert's time in the organization.
Stone's report jibes with another from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who reported last Sunday that the Lions were preparing to make a 'significant offer' to Colbert. His contract with the Steelers expires next month:
He has long been (Detroit's) dream hire, and his contract with Pittsburgh is expiring. Those who know him best doubt he ever considers leaving the Steelers -- and he has been going year-to-year with his deals with the club at his own request -- but the Lions have been working for this for weeks behind the scenes and would love to be able to lure him away.
Stone reiterated later in Wednesday's show that the Lions have made their move, and now it's up to the Steelers and Colbert to respond.
"Sources told me twice that the Detroit Lions -- a trusted source -- have offered Kevin Colbert, the head honcho of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the opportunity to come back home and be in charge of everything of the Detroit Lions. The ball is in Kevin Colbert’s court," Stone said. "Nothing is done, nothing has been decided. But they have, according to the source, offered him the job."