Jan 12, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in the first half against the Denver Broncos during the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver defeated San Diego 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions and Ken Whisenhunt: Was it About the Money?

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The Tennessee Titans swoop in to steal Ken Whisenhunt from the Detroit Lions. What’s that all about?

The Lions’ losing culture?

A poor view of Matthew Stafford as a franchise quarterback?

Living in Nashville instead of Detroit?

I’m not saying it’s all about the Benjamins but…

This is where the typical lines about the Lions and the Ford family being cheap come in to play. In the past I’ve been uneasy throwing around that label, after all the Lions have had one of the highest cash payrolls in the league and they routinely signed rookie contracts for top-five players with big guarantees without the drama of a prolonged holdout.

Here it seems the characterization fits, although it may be of their own doing. Many were surprised to find out the Lions would be on the hook for $12 million to part ways with Jim Schwartz as no one speculated they were paying their head coach like one of the top 15 coaches in the league. They were and now that money left on the books may have been what stood in the way of getting their main target.

But money may not have been the only deciding factor. Although an offensive-minded coach, Whisenhunt has shown a preference for a 3-4 defense. The Lions are built to run a 4-3 and management apparently doesn’t want to have to retool the defense.

A small thing to lose a head coaching candidate over? Probably not considering the Lions are taking a win-now mentality in this coaching search.

Speaking of “win-now”, Whisenhunt may also have been tempted by coaching in the AFC South where the path to winning is a little easier:

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