NFL Rumors: Lions OC Ben Johnson staying in Detroit for a very surprising reason

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is staying with the franchise for another year in a surprising turn of events.

Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions
Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

Lions offensive coordinator and top head-coaching candidate Ben Johnson has opted to spend another season in Detroit. In a surprising move, Johnson decided against entering the coaching carousel, as the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Commanders expressed interest.

With news of the Commanders front office flying to Detroit to meet with Johnson and Lions DC Aaron Glenn, it was expected that the former would be hired by either Washington or perhaps the Seahawks if all else failed.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 37-year-old Johnson had a very high asking price, which scared some teams away. Johnson is a first-time head coach, after all.

Johnson's decision to stay is welcome news in Motown, as the Lions were just one half away from their first Super Bowl trip ever on Sunday. The Lions held a three-score lead at halftime, but squandered their advantage thanks to some curious fourth-down calls from head coach Dan Campbell.

Why Ben Johnson is staying with the Detroit Lions, explained

While Johnson will likely one day become a head coach, he assessed the market in front of him. Detroit's postseason run was memorable and also cost Johnson the chance to pick from seven suitors, rather than just two.

Seattle and Washington both offer intriguing opportunities. The Seahawks are not far removed from postseason contention -- they made the playoffs just last year -- though a rebuild could be on the horizon after falling short of expectations in 2023. The front office's decision to part ways with Pete Carroll confirms just that.

The Commanders have a decent backup plan staring them in the face with Eric Bieniemy. Hiring Johnson would have likely meant losing Bieniemy. The development of Sam Howell is critical to Washington's future success, and hiring Johnson could have helped -- just look at how well Jared Goff has played in his system.

Johnson staying in Detroit is a blow to both of those teams. Yet, it makes sense for the man himself, who wants a full slate of teams to choose from and a front office willing to invest in him.