Former Detroit Lions tight end Dan Campbell has emerged as the favorite for their head coaching job, multiple outlets reported Friday.
The Lions fired coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn on Nov. 28. Brad Holmes, formerly the director of college scouting for the Los Angeles Rams, was named GM on Thursday.
Campbell, 44, currently is the assistant head coach and tight ends coach of the New Orleans Saints. With the Saints still in the playoffs, Campbell can't be interviewed in person -- or hired -- until their season is over.
The Saints host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in an NFC divisional playoff game.
A Texas native, Campbell played at Texas AM and was selected by the New York Giants in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He played with the Giants through 2002, then with the Dallas Cowboys (2003-05) and Lions (2006-08). He was part of the Lions' 2008 team that finished 0-16.
He retired after playing 114 games (76 starts), in which he caught 91 passes for 934 yards with 11 touchdowns.
The Miami Dolphins hired him as tight ends coach in 2011, and after Joe Philbin was fired in 2015, Campbell was named interim head coach, posting a 5-7 record.
He joined Sean Payton's coaching staff in New Orleans in 2016.
The Lions have interviewed Campbell virtually as well as interim head coach Darrell Bevell, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, currently the defensive coordinator at Arizona State.
They also interviewed San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Robert Saleh, who was hired by the New York Jets, as well as Arthur Smith, who was set to interview in person on Friday. That meeting was canceled after he reportedly was offered the Atlanta Falcons' head coaching job.
A virtual interview scheduled for Friday with Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was called off, NFL Network reported.
--Field Level Media