The Detroit Lions introduced new executive vice president and general manager Brad Holmes on Tuesday, and the man entrusted with turning around a downtrodden franchise shared his vision for the team's future, both short and long term.
"When you get into the offseason, every franchise will look at the areas that they might need some, let's say, retooling at, areas that need to be addressed. But the ultimate goal is to make sure that the most competitive team is on the field and that starts right this year and entering the 2021 season," Holmes said.
"Not viewing this as, 'Oh this will be long term, I don't know how long it's going to take,' that's not the approach. That's not the mindset going into it. The approach is to make sure that we can put the most competitive team possible out there on the field in 2021."
The Lions finished last in the NFC North each of the last three seasons and have missed the playoffs every year since 2016.
Detroit has an aging roster and is projected to have just $5 million in cap space with which to turn its fortunes around.
Holmes, his front office staff, and the incoming head coach will have decisions to make on impending free agents such as Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, but even more pressing is determining what to do with franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford. The 32-year-old is under contract for three more seasons and would represent a $33-million cap hit in 2021.
Holmes hasn't yet began the process of evaluating his new quarterback.
"Matthew, great player ... I think the talent level is easy to see, but you really appreciate how his intangibles show in film: how urgent he plays, how competitive he is, the toughness he shows," he said.
"But, it is my job to evaluate the entire roster and through that process, I have not had any discussions with Matt, or any players, for that matter. I just want to be fair to the process and make sure that we evaluate that thoroughly."
Finally, when asked about a defense that ranked dead last in both points and yards allowed, Holmes again said the team will "retool in some areas, but there are some building blocks there."
"We will address that side of the ball just like we'll address the offensive side of the ball. There's no area that we won't work to improve in. But I do think that there are some good young, talented pieces that are still in their phase of developing," he said.