Ben Johnson's reasoning
Ben Johnson's decision to stay with the Detroit Lions left Washington Commanders fans shellshocked. Many wondered why he'd turn down such a great opportunity. The allure of potentially going one step further with the NFC North outfit next season proved too tempting to ignore.
Adam Schefter of ESPN stated on social media that some teams were put off by Johnson's asking price. Josina Anderson of CBS Sports revealed months ago that the annual salary demands could be somewhere in the region of $15 million per season. That could have priced him out of an opportunity, although we'll never know for sure.
Schefter went on to say that Johnson's primary motivation isn't money. He added that the Commanders were surprised by the development en route to Detroit, but they've got other irons in the fire.
"While the abrupt pivot by Johnson was considered “surprising” by several league sources, he was not considered a lock for the Commanders’ job, despite his strong reputation as a coordinator and a loyal coach. Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has two years remaining on his contract with Detroit. His deal was not adjusted to stay, per league source, proving that money is not Johnson’s biggest motivation. The Lions still could opt to adjust the contract down the line, but it’s not the reason that Johnson returned to Detroit today. Johnson is loyal."- Adam Schefter via X/Twitter
Johnson seemed like the perfect candidate to take the Commanders forward alongside general manager Adam Peters. It'll be interesting to see which direction they turn, but time is of the essence in no uncertain terms.