Detroit offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has turned down head coaching opportunities with the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Commanders on Tuesday as he announced his intentions to remain with the Lions and attempt to bring a Super Bowl championship to the Motor City.
The Lions lost to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday and narrowly missed out on an NFC title and the right to play in the Super Bowl. Detroit held a 17-point second half advantage, but could not maintain the lead and were beaten by the 49ers.
Johnson, 37 years old, has been Detroit's offensive coordinator under head coach Dan Campbell for the past two seasons. Detroit finished the 2023 campaign with a franchise best 12 regular season wins. The offense finished in the top five in points scored per game and yards gained per game. Their two playoff wins were more than they accomplished over the past 65 years.
Prior to serving as the offensive coordinator for Detroit, he was with the team in different capacities since 2019. He previously served as quality control coach, tight ends coach and passing game coordinator.
It marks the second consecutive season in which Johnson eschewed head-coaching opportunities to return to the Lions. If Johnson's offense, led by quarterback Jared Goff, continues its upward climb, Johnson will be much sought-after candidate once again in the 2025 coaching cycle and just might be able to name his price.
"I think how much input he allows me to have and whether he takes it or he doesn't, he allows me to say it and uses some of it. It's fun for me, it really is; Goff said of Johnson last week ahead of the NFC title game. It allows me to really be a part of the plan in some ways. And he's a great listener and listens to not only me, but all the players of what they want, what they see. And that's not only through the week, but on game day the same way"- Jared Goff
It has been widely speculated in the NFL that the North Carolina grad was seeking a contract in the neighborhood of $15 million per season. Other teams with openings were not willing to enter that neighborhood for a rookie head coach.
According to CBS Sports, Jonathan Jones, it was reported on the platform formerly known as Twitter that the Commanders officials were on their way to Detroit to meet with Johnson and found out of his intentions while in the air. It appears as though the Commanders are turning their efforts to Aaron Glenn who is also high on their coaching list.
ESPN's Adam Schefter has also confirmed that the Commanders are on the ground in Detroit meeting with Glenn. A deal could be imminent, as quickly as this week. The Commanders supposedly also met with Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn about the coaching vacancy and he appears to be a strong candidate.
The Seahawks were also waiting on Johnson's season to finish and now they need to make a U-turn in their coaching search as they are looking for a young coach to replace Pete Carroll who was bumped upstairs and into a managerial-type role.