Oct. 15, 2004
Allen Park, Mich. – Detroit Lions President and CEO Matt Millen today announced the promotion of Martin Mayhew to Assistant General Manager. He will hold the title of Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager. Mayhew previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Football Administration/Legal Affairs.
“Today, we promoted Martin Mayhew to the newly-created position of Assistant General Manager,” Millen said. “Martin has been absolutely fantastic, and he’s a smart guy who understands the football side. He played the game and has great eyes (for football), and this is something we have been talking about for a while as an organization.
“This puts another good set of eyes and an opinion into our mix. It expands what he has already been doing. We’ll get him more involved in the personnel side and also expand some of his football operations stuff, which he’s actually running already. But for us, I think it gives us a good set of practical eyes from a perspective of having played and understanding schemes and knowing personnel. I think it’s a big step for us, and I think it’s a great step for Martin as well. We’re really excited about it.
“Martin is talented and can see the game. It is not a natural step just because he played the gameI think because he played the game that’s an added bonus. He understands schemes, he can see abilities and he can break people down. All those things you obviously have to have.”
Mayhew originally joined the Lions in February 2001 as one of Millen’s major additions to the team’s front office staff. He entered the organization in the role of Senior Director of Football Administration/Staff Counsel, but after illustrating his talents and work ethic over the next two years, he was promoted to senior vice president February 3, 2003.
Mayhew will continue to play a key role in coordinating the team’s salary cap objectives, player contract negotiations and all team-related legal affairs in conjunction with Executive Vice President & COO Tom Lewand. He will also assist Lewand on all team matters pertaining to the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement and League policies and procedures. Mayhew is primarily responsible for all football operations (including team travel, the medical staff, equipment operations, video department, groundskeeping, player development and security), human resources, practice facility operations and the cafeteria staff. Mayhew is also involved in the Lions’ Inclusion Council.
This past summer, Sports Illustrated ranked Mayhew among the “Top 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports.”
In 2003, Mayhew completed the NFL’s program for Managers at Stanford’s School of Business.
Prior to joining the Lions, Mayhew was Director of Football Administration for the XFL, where he was instrumental in developing policies for the start-up professional football league. He was significantly involved in developing league procedures for player transactions and the draft. Mayhew also planned the league’s training camps and supervised team officials in their planning of practices as well as other team activities.
Throughout his journey leading up to his current post, Mayhew has kept an eye on the future and has always thought one step ahead, as evidenced by his strategic exposure to several jobs and internships while earning his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center (2000). He is one of only two members of the Lions’ front office staff to have earned their law degree and also is a member of the Florida Bar. Mayhew is a member of the American Bar Association and the Sports Lawyers Association.
During the 1999 NFL season, while attending law school, Mayhew served a nine-month internship in the Washington Redskins pro personnel department, which exposed him to the responsibilities of an NFL scouting department. While with the Redskins, he scouted NFL players and late NFL cuts and also assisted in the evaluation of college players for the 2000 NFL Draft. Mayhew also had two separate internship stints with the NFL League office in both the Labor Operations and Legal departments. With the Labor Operations Department, Mayhew worked closely with NFL executives on issues involving NFL player contracts and the salary cap. With the Legal Department, Mayhew assisted in-house labor counsel of the NFL by researching legal issues, digesting cases in preparation for arbitration hearings and drafting legal memoranda related to player injury and non-injury grievances. He also was exposed to a taste of corporate law while working for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. in Washington D.C., one of the primary firms used by the NFL as outside counsel. At Akin Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, he researched legal issues, wrote legal documents and assisted firm associates and partners in preparation for litigation.
Before entering law school, Mayhew played nine years in the NFL as a cornerback for the Buffalo Bills (1988), Washington Redskins (1989-92) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993-96). He was the Bills’ 10th-round selection in the 1988 NFL draft, and was a starter on the Redskins’ Super Bowl XXVI championship team.
Mayhew entered the league after graduating from Florida State with a bachelor’s of science degree in business management. While at FSU, he was a National Merit and Achievement Scholar and earned GTE CoSida Academic All-America honors. He was also a two-sport athlete, lettering on both the Seminoles’ football and track teams. Between graduation and the draft, Mayhew was a corporate trainee at First Union National Bank in Charlotte, N.C.
Mayhew has also been extremely involved within the community throughout his professional career. In 1993, while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mayhew was given the Chelo Huerta Community Service Award and the following year, he was a nominee for the True Value Hardware Man of the Year. During the 1995 and 1996 seasons, Mayhew was the United Way Spokesperson for the Buccaneers.