The Detroit Lions have a brand new regime and they will have a brand new quarterback in 2021 as well.
According to Saturday reports from Tom Peliserro of NFL Network, Matthew Stafford and the Lions are heading for a split and the quarterback has requested a trade. Stafford and the Lions reportedly discussed what the next moves are and came to the consensus that they would be splitting up. Detroit will now begin to explore trades for Stafford in the coming weeks.
Sources: The #Lions and Matthew Stafford have mutually agreed to part ways this offseason and the team will begin exploring trade options in the coming weeks for their star QB.https://t.co/zT00sOGb8Q
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 23, 2021
It will be a heartbreaking conclusion for some Lions fans to Stafford’s career in Detroit, but it will be clear to many others this will be the right move for the team. Stafford has been a loyal player for the team since 2009 when he was the top pick of the Lions. In spite of this, the team never built a solid base around him and the Lions struggled to win with Stafford in tow.
With the 32 year-old’s introduction to the market, it will be interesting to see who will bite on a deal. The Lions will be interesting players themselves now likely needing a quarterback.
What Teams Could Trade for Matthew Stafford?
The Indianapolis Colts are far from the only team that could make sense as it relates to a Stafford deal, even though right now they could make the most sense in terms of fit. Teams such as the New England Patriots, Los Angles Rams, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers all have quarterback situations that could be in-flux as well. If Stafford was indeed on the market, there would be no shortage of suitors for his services and there could be a bidding war.
Detroit will now have to decide what kind of return they want for Stafford, and the asking price would probably be fairly high considering his status as an elite player in the league.
Matthew Stafford’s 2020 Stats
Even before this news, it always seemed that the future of Stafford was going to become a big talking point for the Lions given the changes within the front office and at head coach. The past regime, led by Bob Quinn, remained loyal to Stafford but the shakeup always seemed it would leave his future firmly up in the air. That’s especially true given the fact that ownership has essentially deferred the decision to the new staff once they come to town. Combined with Stafford’s own desire to leave town, it seems that an easy consensus was reached.
During the 2020 season, Stafford didn’t have the type of season that will wow many folks statistically. He threw 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with 4,084 passing yards. He’s had good games and average games, but has shown the toughness that has come to define his tenure. To that end, he will be missed if and when he does leave the Lions.
Stafford, no matter where he plays next season, is going to be one of the better quarterbacks in the league. It now appears that it will be for a team other than the Lions.
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