Dan Campbell calls himself ‘a–hole’ for cutting Don Muhlbach on birthday


Santa Claus will put coal in your stocking, but Dan Campbell will put a pink slip in your locker on your birthday.

The Lions cut long snapper Don Muhlbach on Tuesday, the same day he turned 40 years old. Muhlbach played 17 seasons with the Lions, totaling 260 games played – second in franchise history only to longtime kicker Jason Hanson.

The birthday spoiler is not exactly an appreciative way for the first-year coach Campbell and first-year general manager Brad Holmes to treat well-respected, longtime Lions.

“There’s no way to sugarcoat that,” Campbell said, according to the Detroit Free-Press. “I’m an a–hole, so that’s about the best way to put it.”

Muhlbach was made aware of the Lions’ plan before it became public, according to the report. He made the Pro Bowl in 2012 and 2018 but has been replaced by a younger Scott Daly.

Don Muhlbach and Lions coach Dan Campbell
Getty Images, AP

Lions teammates were celebrating Mulbach’s milestone birthday in the locker room, according to photos on social media. Tuesday also happened to be the deadline for NFL teams to drop their preseason rosters from 90 to 85 players – and Muhlbach didn’t make the cut.

“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.”

Campbell, a former Giants tight end, has been a living, breathing soundbite ever since he was hired by the Lions in January and said his team would be so tough that it would “bite a kneecap off.”

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