Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, one of the most sought-after names in multiple NFL coaching cycles, has opted to stay with the Lions, despite reportedly being the Washington Commanders top choice for their head coach vacancy.
The 37-year-old Johnson chose to withdrawal his name from consideration right when Washington’s brass was in mid-flight, on their way to Detroit to speak with him.
The initial report following the breakdown was that Johnson was seeking way too much money, reportedly $15 million per year, which the Commanders were said to have balked at.
However, there’s two sides to every story, and a new report shed light on the matter from Johnson’s perspective…
According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Johnson was “turned off” by the new Commanders ownership group, led by Josh Harris.
Laine reported that Johnson perceived them as “basketball guys” who exhibited an excessive level of confidence in their football opinions despite a lack of experience in the sport.
Was told that Ben Johnson was "turned off" by Commanders ownership, that they're "basketball guys" and felt they were a little too confident in their football opinions. And I also heard that he "didn't interview well." He said, he said, but clearly not a good fit for both sides. https://t.co/negeevYsha
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) February 3, 2024
“The new ownership seemed too confident in their football opinions, and the interview simply didn’t go well for Johnson,” Laine reported.
In light of these developments, the Washington Commanders eventually appointed (former) Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their new head coach.
Ben Johnson's agent shared his plans to stay in Detroit by texting Washington officials while the Commanders’ group was on a flight to Michigan.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 5, 2024
The development initiated enormous celebrations among Lions fans who were thrilled that Johnson decided to stay in Detroit.
There is great hope that Dan Campbell’s team can build off the momentum of this season and make an even-more-serious run at the Super Bowl in 2024.
Shefty gettin blacklisted from Detroit will be the funniest part if this all
— JT (@CousinxJ) February 5, 2024
What are your thoughts on the conflicting reports in the whole Johnson-Commanders situation?
What exactly do you think happened???
Yo this is hilarious. As a Commanders fan I started to get annoyed of the "Best destination" for this coach. Any prospective coach demanding 15 mil a year off top is a no go for me. We may have dodged a bullet.
— Manuel Gonzalez 🇩🇴🇺🇸 (@mjgjr1003) January 30, 2024
Is it possible Washington got lucky and that Quinn will prove to be the better head coach anyways?
With Johnson remaining in Detroit, do you think the Lions have a legitimate shot to win the Super Bowl next season???
Commanders fans watching Ben Johnson slip out from right underneath them pic.twitter.com/pdkV7d6wEt
— Tek (@CookedByTek) January 29, 2024