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Lions extend contract with coach Jim Schwartz

Associated Press Modified: June 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm •  Published: June 29, 2012
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DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions have accomplished one more goal this offseason, keeping another cog in the franchise's turnaround.

Detroit and coach Jim Schwartz, who had one year left on his deal, agreed on a contract extension. Lions spokesman Bill Keenist said Friday night that the team won't disclose details of the new contract.

Schwartz and the team consistently refused to comment on negotiations this offseason.

There was no doubt, however, that the Lions didn't want to let him get away.

He helped Detroit reach the playoffs last season just three years after inheriting a team coming off the NFL's first 0-16 year.

The Lions gave the former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator his first chance to be a head coach in 2009. Schwartz won two games in his first year, six the next and 10 last season. He led the franchise to double digits in wins for the first time since 1995 and into the postseason for the first time since the 1999 season.

All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson had his contract extended this offseason by Detroit, which also retained standout defensive Cliff Avril, linebacker Stephen Tulloch and offensive tackle Jeff Backus. Cornerback Eric Wright, who left as a free agent to sign with Tampa Bay, is the only significant player missing from last season's team.

The Lions, however, have marred their offseason with arrests that have led to at least one suspension. Running back Mikel Leshoure will miss the first two games without pay and will have to give up two more game checks for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley will likely also be suspended because he was arrested twice in two months.

On the field, the Lions have found a leader they've been looking for a long time.

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