Cedric Saunders
Vice President of Football Operations


Cedric Saunders is in his eighth year with the Lions and was named vice president of football operations September 24, 2008. In 2007, Saunders was promoted to director of football operations in his second season with the club. He came to Detroit after spending the previous five seasons with Tampa Bay.

Saunders works closely with Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Martin Mayhew and oversees the team’s football operations, including the coordination of the year-round football calendar. Among his football operations duties, Saunders oversees the Lions’ player development department, video department, equipment operations, team travel, athletic training staff, strength and conditioning, cafeteria operations, security department and human resources. Along with the coordination of those departments, he handles the annual budgets for the coaching staff, coaching support staff and player personnel department.

He also assists with player personnel, including the development of the team’s roster, college scouting and on-campus visits and pro talent evaluation. Saunders plays a role in the coordination of the team’s free agency and draft agenda, including free agent and draft eligible visits.

Each season, Saunders is responsible for interviewing and hiring coaching interns as part of the NFL Minority Coaching Program.

In addition to his various football operations responsibilities, he also assists with contract negotiations.

This past off-season, Saunders attended the NFL Career Development Symposium for General Manager and Head Coach talent held at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the most prestigious business schools in the country.

While directing the player development department in Tampa Bay, Saunders helped get players involved in continuing education programs, off-season internships and jobs to prepare for possible post-NFL careers. He was also the main contact between the players and the club’s community relations department and encouraged player involvement in charities and community activities.

Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Saunders spent the previous two seasons as an area scout for the Kansas City Chiefs, evaluating college talent in the Midwest. A native of Sarasota, Fla., Saunders was in training camp for three seasons with Tampa Bay (1994-96), and saw action on both the practice squad and active roster in 1995 as a tight end and special teams player. He also played with the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe in 1997.

A four-year starter at Ohio State, Saunders posted 68 career receptions for 853 yards for the Buckeyes. He recorded 27 catches and earned second-team All-Big 10 honors as a senior in 1993 and was an honorable mention selection as a junior.

Saunders and his wife, Bashi, have two daughters, Reegan and Charlie Bleu, and two sons, Cayden and Kai.

Recent Articles

Recent Videos

  • NFL Fan Pass: Reggie Bush's trip to Australia

    (00:01:35:11) By NFL Films - Posted Jul 24, 2014

    Go down under with Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush as he visits Sydney, Australia.

  • Who will win the NFC North?

    (00:06:33:24) By - Posted Jul 23, 2014

    Will the Green Bay Packers repeat as the NFC North Champions, or will another team steal the division? Warren Sapp and Lorenzo Neal give their answers.

  • Top 100 plays of 2013: No. 35

    (00:01:15:23) By - Posted Jul 23, 2014

    Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush makes the grab and scores untouched to earn a spot on the list of "Top 100 Plays of 2013."

  • Max Scherzer joins 'NFL AM'

    (00:05:36:07) By - Posted Jul 22, 2014

    Tigers All-Star pitcher Max Scherzer stops by NFL AM to discuss his love for fantasy football and the leagues he is starting through Big League Impact, which offers fans the opportunity to compete against him.

  • NFL Fan Pass: Reggie Bush's rugby lesson

    (00:02:23:01) By NFL Films - Posted Jul 22, 2014

    Detroit Lions running back Reggis Bush meets the New South Wales Blues Rugby League team at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia and gets a rugby lesson from star fullback Jarryd Hayne.


  • Golden Tate

    Tate signed a big contract this offseason ($31 million), and with big money comes big expectations.
  • Kyle Van Noy

    Van Noy showed terrific instincts on film and the Lions are excited to see him in action in pads.
  • Eric Ebron

    Ebron is playing the Jimmy Graham role in the Lions’ new offense, which means the Lions are going to put a lot on this rookie’s plate.
  • Bill Bentley

    Bentley needs to make huge gains heading into year three. The talent is there, he just finally needs to put it all together.
  • Darius Slay

    The Lions are putting a lot of faith in Slay to be a quality starter heading into year two.