Caldwell: 'Not worried' about lack of contract extension

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Jim Caldwell


Allen Park — Jim Caldwell has led the Detroit Lions to the playoffs twice in three years, a significant accomplishment for the franchise, but that has yet to earn him a contract extension. 

The coach enters training camp working on the fourth and final year of the contract he signed in 2014, and he continues to express no concern about his future with the team. 

“I’m not worried about that,” Caldwell said. “As a matter of fact, those years don’t matter, this year coming up is what matters.”

Caldwell has been fielding questions about his contract since last season, but it’s not a topic that ever comes up at home. 

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“Yeah, I’m focused in on football, but I will tell you this, not any point in my life do I remember my wife asking me about my contract,” Caldwell said. “If you have a 15-year contract, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to be fired tomorrow. You’ve always got to perform. I’ve never worried about those things. I couldn’t care less, to be honest with you. I’m more focused on getting the team ready. That’s my job, that’s my charge and that’s what we’re going to do.

The Lions hired Caldwell in 2014 to replace Jim Schwartz. Caldwell led the team to an 11-5 mark that first season, only to see the team struggle the following year, dropping the first five games and seven of the first eight. That led to a coaching staff shakeup, with offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn being fired midseason. 

The team also fired general manager Martin Mayhew that year, hiring New England Patriots director of pro scouting Bob Quinn as his replacement. 

After a series of meetings, Quinn opted to retain Caldwell as coach, and by all accounts, the two have forged a strong working relationship. 

The Lions went 9-7 last season, earning another postseason berth. In three years, Caldwell has compiled a 27-21 regular-season mark, but has failed to advance the team beyond the opening round of the playoffs.