Although it likely won't happen immediately, the demise of Lions' GM and President Matt Millen is forthcoming.
LionsFans.com has learned that the much maligned general manager, who took the reigns of a 9-7 Lions ball club following the 2000 regular season and watched it dissolve into a 6-33 disaster, will likely be removed after the season.
"All indications are Millen will be fired at seasons end, regardless of what happens from here on out," a team source told LionsFans.com.
Most of Millen's critics have surfaced in record numbers following Detroit's 24-16 loss to the equally pitiable Chicago Bears. Both teams entered the contest with identical 1-5 records. The Lions, however, fell behind 24-0 in the second half and never recovered.
Many analysts have blamed the Lions' lack of playmakers on offense. Without a solid supporting cast, second-year quarterback Joey Harrington has struggled. Because Millen is in charge of player personnel, that blame has been placed squarely on his shoulders.
Among Millen's several questionable moves since his arrival include the ousting of team veteran, and fan favorite Johnnie Morton. Morton, a wide receiver, was replaced with Bill Schroeder and Az-Zahir Hakim, who combined have failed to fill Morton's shoes.
During this past off-season, Millen allowed young and rising middle linebacker Chris Claiborne to sign with divisional foe Minnesota. Detroit scurried to find a replacement, ultimately settling on aging veteran Earl Holmes. It was rumored that Millen did not want to re-sign Claiborne after a locker room incident in which Claiborne voiced his displeasure over comments Millen made to a Chicago-radio talk show.
Claiborne's Vikings are now 6-1, atop the NFC North division.
Oddly enough, there hasn't been many published reports of Steve Mariucci's involvement with personnel decisions, or his relationship with Matt Millen. When Mariucci was first hired, it was made aware that the first year head coach would have a say in team-related decisions.
We were told, however, that there are subtle issues between the two.
"Apparently, they do not agree on some personnel moves Millen was responsible for," said the source. "Millen does speak often with Mariucci regarding personnel for the team. He often drifts in his own direction."
According to the team source, Lions' owner William Clay Ford, Sr. was "as critical as he ever has been" following the loss at Chicago.
"From what I was told, the organization has discussed at length the termination of Millen and right now, Ford is wavering."
If and when Millen is removed, the Lions will have an open GM position.
Although we were told Mariucci will have a greater say in the personnel that will be part of Detroit's roster, several candidates have been proposed. Our source told us to keep an ear out for former Jacksonville Jaguars' GM Michael Huyghue and former Packers' GM Ron Wolf, who is interested in returning to the league.