Detroit Lions’ newest HC Dan Campbell had to cut the Lions legend, Don Muhlbach, after 20 years in the NFL. And his timing could not have been worse.
Campbell has shown since the day he was introduced as the Lions’ head coach that he has a different way of communicating than other head coaches, whether it’s calling for his players to bite their opponents’ kneecaps, or calling himself an asshole.
Muhlbach was approaching his 18th season in the NFL having played 260 career games, all with the Lions, ranking second in franchise history. But was cut by Cambell Tuesday, his 40th birthday.
Since arriving in Detroit in 2004, LS Don Muhlbach carved out a legendary career with the @Lions.
A team captain and leader off the field, Muhlbach leaves Detroit as one of the most accomplished players in both team and @NFL history.
Read more about his legacy below: pic.twitter.com/Jf6bKV13d5
— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) August 17, 2021
He earned the second of his two Pro Bowl nods in 2018, but his firing probably didn’t come as a shock to Muhlbach, evidenced by the fact that Muhlbach has been signing one-year contracts for the minimum salary since 2013. But despite what he has done for the Lions, the 2nd oldest player in the NFL was let go harshly on his 40th birthday and Dan Cambell recognizes it.
Dan Campbell called himself an a**hole for cutting Muhlback on his birthday
Campbell, who played with Muhlbach on the Lions from 2006 to 2008, said he knows it wasn’t exactly the nicest way to treat a respected veteran, but it comes with the business of football.
“There’s no way to sugarcoat that. I’m an a——, so that’s about the best way to put it,” Campbell said. There’s no way around (the business side of the NFL) really,” Campbell said. “Yeah, you can say there is, but ultimately that falls on me, it’s my fault. And Don’s a hell of a dude. That sucks, but it is what it is.”
“I’m an a**hole.” pic.twitter.com/IuuaK4SEtf
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) August 19, 2021
Teams had until 4 p.m. ET Tuesday to trim rosters to 85 players. And Muhlback had to see the harsh side of the cutoffs.
“There was a number of moves like with Nick (Williams) that was coming down the wire, to get him back from COVID reserve and the linebacker and then (signing) the quarterback (Jordan Ta’amu) because of where we were at there and it just, once again, it’s putting a strain,” Campbell said. “You’re looking for that (roster) spot and unfortunately it has to be on his birthday and it stinks.”