Millen hints that he'll try to get Sanders to return

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Millen to earn reported $3 million

Matt Millen is expected to be formally introduced as the new chief executive officer of the Detroit Lions on Tuesday for what sources say is a $3 million-plus annual salary, which would make Millen the NFL's highest-paid executive.

Gary Moeller
Gary Moeller and the Lions missed the playoffs.

The $3 million matches the money he has been earning as an NFL analyst for Fox Television and CBS Radio, sources said.

The former NFL linebacker is likely to dismiss Gary Moeller as head coach. Sources say his two leading candidates appear to be Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and Buccaneers assistant head coach/defense Herman Edwards.

Two years ago, when Millen almost became the team's general manager, he wanted to hire 49ers coach Steve Mariucci, but owner William Clay Ford consummated neither transaction.

Millen has an interest in hiring Tom Donahoe, formerly of the Steelers, to head up his personnel department, according to league sources. Donahoe has been in discussions with Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. about replacing John Butler as the Buffalo GM. Butler signed a five-year, $7.5 million deal with the Chargers on Thursday and also has hired Bills personnel director A.J. Smith for $500,000 annually.

Donahoe also may become a candidate for GM with the Jets.

According to sources, Millen reached an agreement with Lions co-chairman William Clay Ford Jr. last week, and the arrangement has been signed off by Ford Sr.

Millen had discussions with the Lions a year ago about a similar position, but Ford killed the idea to allow Bobby Ross to continue as coach. Ross resigned in the middle of this season and was replaced by Moeller, who was given a three-year contract.

Millen did not return phone calls, but through an associate he labeled the report as "just a rumor."

Schmidt said during the weekend he was unaware the Ford family was in discussions with Millen. Schmidt's job presumably would be in jeopardy under this scenario.

"I don't know if I'm in trouble," Schmidt told ESPN on Saturday. "But I guess you're always the last to know."

A team spokesman said he was unaware a change was forthcoming, but Ford Jr. was unavailable for comment.

Millen, 42, has been an NFL analyst for Fox Sports since 1994, and he worked for CBS the two previous years. The former Penn State standout was an NFL linebacker (1980-91) with the Oakland/L.A. Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins.

His broadcasting work came after the conclusion of a stellar NFL career during which he played on four Super Bowl championship teams. He is the only player to win four Super Bowls with three different teams. HELP | ADVERTISER INFO | CONTACT US | TOOLS | SITE MAP

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