Skip to main content

Report: Lions Offered College Football Coach Massive Contract

Long shot of a Detroit Lions helmet at U.S. Bank Stadium.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 4: A helmet for the Detroit Lions is seen during warmups before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Earlier this offseason, the Detroit Lions hired former New Orleans Saints assistant Dan Campbell to their newly-opened heading coaching position. But, according to recent reports, there could've been a different Campbell leading the team in 2021.

According to CBS Sports college football insider Dennis Dodd, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell turned down a massive eight-year, $68.5 million contract with the Lions earlier this year.

Dodd revealed these reports during an appearance on CBS HQ on Wednesday.

"Interesting note for Matt Campbell," he said. "In the offseason, he turned down an eight-year, $68.5 million offer from the Lions — apparently, with full control, I haven't confirmed that — to stay at Iowa State.

"Now if I'm Matt Campbell's wife, I'm having some questions. But he sees his upward arch better at Iowa State than, look, the Lions that are annually at disarray. But look — I would take that money and take my chances at disarray for over the next eight years than Iowa State. But if you want to talk about loyalty, he's the ultimate loyal guy."

Following a 9-3 season capped off with a Fiesta Bowl victory in 2020, Campbell is one of the hottest coaches in the college game. As a result, the NFL world came knocking this offseason. The 41-year-old coach was also connected to reports regarding a potential head coaching interview with the New York Jets before he publicly pledged his loyalty to the Iowa State program.

Just one month after this message on Twitter, Campbell signed a contract extension with the Cyclones through the 2028 season -- including $3 million for "staff salary enhancements" over the next three seasons, per 247Sports.

According to ESPN preseason rankings, Iowa State is the No. 6 team in the nation heading into 2021.

Instead of taking the big money in Detroit, the rising-star coach will return to Ames for his sixth season with the Cyclones.