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Five general manager candidates who could make sense for Lions

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Lions organization never been stable (1:28)

ESPN's Ryan Clark, with the His and Hers crew, react to the firing of Lions president Tom Leward and GM Martin Mayhew, and why coach Jim Caldwell was not dismissed. (1:28)

The Detroit Lions are looking for a new general manager after firing Martin Mayhew on Thursday after seven seasons.

Mayhew did a good job rebuilding a team from the 0-16 season in 2008, but the Lions needed an overhaul after a disastrous 1-7 start to this season. Here are some names owner Martha Ford could consider as she starts her search for a new person to run her football operations. Many of these candidates wouldn't be able to join the Lions until after the season.

Nick Caserio, New England Patriots director of player personnel: A key member of the front office for the defending Super Bowl champion. Once interviewed for the Dolphins GM job and is considered a qualified and capable candidate. If the Lions want to make an impact, hiring Caserio would qualify.

Chris Polian, Jacksonville Jaguars director of player personnel: He has the pedigree (his father is former GM and Hall of Famer Bill Polian). If the Lions' ownership believes Jim Caldwell is still the right coach, Polian could be a good candidate to look at. He knows Caldwell from their days together in Indianapolis, so the working relationship would already be in place. He has extensive experience working under his father, but has branched out to help build the Jaguars, who have drafted and acquired a lot of nice pieces the past two seasons.

Eliot Wolf, Green Bay Packers director of player personnel: This would seem a long shot, especially because Wolf, 33, was just promoted to his current role in January, and his family’s deep ties to the Packers. Plus, this is a division rival. But if you’re looking to completely jump-start the organization, he would be an intriguing hire. Like Polian, he has extensive family pedigree and grew up around the game. He also understands what it takes to be successful in the NFL and has done it from a homegrown approach. Age would be a question here -- he’s younger than starting cornerback Rashean Mathis (35) -- but the Lions need to try something different. He’d be it.

Michael Lombardi, Patriots coaching assistant: He was swept out with the regime change in Cleveland after the 2013 season and wasn’t given much of a chance to implement his vision. But coach Bill Belichick clearly likes Lombardi enough to have hired him as a coaching assistant the past two seasons, and he has been described by my colleague Mike Reiss as Belichick’s “right-hand man.” If the Lions really want to be a contender . . .

Trent Kirchner, Seattle Seahawks co-director of player personnel: Like Lombardi and Wolf, he'd be coming from a successful organization, and he also has an extensive history as a scout with Carolina. Kirchner has been a large part of a staff with a team that has gone to back-to-back Super Bowls. The Lions would have to wait until the offseason to interview Kirchner, but he could be a good fit as well, considering how well Seattle has drafted and its general shrewdness with making deals for key players. He’s also from the Midwest, having grown up in Minnesota.