(ALLEN PARK, MI) -- Vice president and general counsel Kevin Warren has been fired by the Detroit Lions. Warren, the highest ranking African-American official in the Lions organization and one of the highest ranking in the league was dismissed by team president Matt Millen yesterday afternoon.
Tom Lewand, vice-president and CEO of Ford Field Properties will assume Warren's day-to-day duties. Warren and Millen were an odd mix from the beginning. Warren was expected to take over much of the contract negotiations for Detroit but Lewand ended up carrying the ball. Most damaging was when several players agents alleged that free agent contract deals weren't gettig done because Warren was "unavailable" -- something the former St. Louis Rams executive vehemently denied.
Lewand was rewarded for his work on the spectacular Ford Field construction and opening, most of which went off without a hitch. He was named CEO of Ford Field Properties, but recently told the media he would be turning all his attention to Lion personnel related matters.
Warren has three years remaining at $1.5 per season. Warren is the second high ranking Lions official to be fired. Earlier this offseason, Bill Tobin, vice president of player personnel was also terminated by Millen. The move is reportedly to give Detroit a more 'streamlined' front office.
Rumors still abound that Detroit is moving to hire former San Francisco 49'er head coach Steve Mariucci. Millen has steadfastly refused comments on any questions regarding Mariucci. Tom Izzo, the Michigan State university head coach and good friend of Mariucci stated that it was 99% certain the Mariucci would not coach next season, however, that doesn't rule out a front office position. Mariucci is known to be interested in the personnel side of matters and the firing of both Tobin and Warren clear the way for new blood in the Lions front office.