As the Detroit Lions hired Dan Campbell as head coach and Brad Holmes as general manager this past week, quarterback Matthew Stafford decided that now would be an opportune time to seek to play elsewhere. The quarterback’s late-game heroics, toughness, and arm strength have made him a celebrated Detriotian and a Lions’ icon throughout the last decade. Now, both sides have determined that a Matthew Stafford trade out of Mo-town is what is needed for both sides.
How it All Came to This
The former first overall pick out of Georgia in 2009 has earned the franchise record of passing touchdowns and passing yards, all while only making a dismal three winless appearances in the postseason.
Throughout his impressive career, it has always been hypothesized what Stafford could do with the right cast if he left Detroit — and now is finally the time to predict where he fits best.
Of course, acquiring Stafford comes with a price, as the quarterback’s current contract has $43 million on it over the next two years, according to Tom Pelissero. Not only would a team have to satisfy his contract needs, but they would likely need to give up multiple early-round picks as a part of the trade agreement.
Plenty of teams are in the market for a quarterback this offseason, and plenty of other quarterbacks are also available, but not many can stack up to the likes of Stafford. He is experienced, gutsy, and has shown flashes of brilliant play and legendary moments throughout his career. Let’s take a look at who might be after Matthew Stafford the hardest this off-season.
Matthew Stafford Trade Possibilities
The stigma around the Colts is that they are a quarterback away from a playoff push. The team’s 11-5 record with the recently retired Phillip Rivers seems promising and the stout defense along with budding weapons on offense make the team a yearly AFC contender. Adding Stafford could make them the favorites to win the division and bring the tenacity and talent they are looking for behind center.
The Washington Football Team is in need of a quarterback and anyone who paid attention to the NFC East this season knows it. Luckily for them, the new general manager, Martin Mayhew is familiar with Stafford, having been the GM in Detroit who chose to draft Stafford, according to R.J White of CBS Sports. The familiarity with management and the opportunity to gel with emerging talent makes Washington a likely spot for a Matthew Stafford trade.
The San Francisco 49ers are looking for a long term quarterback who is both reliable and gifted throwing the ball. Stafford, who is as tough as they come, could be just what Kyle Shanahan is looking for. The question is whether the team will hold onto Jimmy Garoppolo or not, that future is not yet determined. That being said it’s hard to imagine the organization not flirting with the possibility of bringing in Stafford. Jimmy G’s inconsistency regarding his health could be a key reason why the team moves on from him. Bringing in Stafford and pairing him with a surplus of weapons like George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Raheem Mostert would be a sight to see.
Could former Lions head coach Matt Patricia bring Stafford back home with him to New England? It depends on how Bill Belichick and the Patriots veteran staff plan to patch up their flaws this offseason. When the team brought in Cam Newton, offensive coordinator Josh Daniels favored a balanced attack with a dynamic quarterback at the helm, something that they could not do with Brady.
But, this failed one-off season might be a lesson learned for the Patriots, and reverting back to the old ways of a pocket passing quarterback might be what’s desired. Not only is Stafford an elite passer, but he also has the second most game-winning drives in NFL history at 38, only one behind Drew Brees according to Indy Star. That statistic could not be understated as New England had many last drive opportunities to win this year but came up short. Stafford’s late-game heroics could be just what they need.
It would be interesting to see how Stafford performs with a new squad at this stage of his career. Frankly, this Matthew Stafford trade has been long overdue. The question for whoever is acquiring him now is, are his peak years behind him?
I hope you enjoyed my article on some of the likely Matthew Stafford trade possibilities, follow me on Twitter for more great content @garciaanthony_ Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
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