The Detroit Lions have not requested permission from the Pittsburgh Steelers to interview general manager Kevin Colbert for their vacant general manager position, according to a report by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, despite repeated reports that the Lions have interest in Colbert.
Colbert, who worked for the Lions for a decade before coming to Pittsburgh in 2000, has familiarity with the Ford family and is well-regarded in most NFL circles, leading to Detroit’s initial interested in the Steelers’ general manager, as originally reported by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports on Jan. 4.
On Tuesday though, Albert Breer of NFL Network reported that Los Angeles Rams executive Brad Holmes, along with Ed Dodds of Indianapolis, Terry Fontenot and Jeff Ireland from New Orleans and George Patton of Minnesota are individuals that the Lions wanted to bring in for an in-person interview, excluding Colbert.
Less that 24 hours later, Mike Stone of 97.1-FM The Ticket in Detroit reported that the Lions have offered the job to Colbert, and that a deal is “close to happening.”
That would not seem to jive with Dulac’s report that the Lions have not approached the Steelers with a request to interview, though it’s not clear that the Lions would need to interview Colbert, who they are familiar with and has a long track record in the position, before making such an offer.
Additionally, such an offer could be made through an intermediary and not to Colbert himself.
It seems that there is at least some interest from the Lions in Colbert, but that interest has not risen to the level of them asking permission to speak with him as a candidate.
Colbert’s contract runs through the end of the 2021 NFL Draft in April.