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Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford requests trade amid front office overhaul

Lions discussing trade options in coming weeks

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Tony Ding) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Matthew Stafford era could be coming to an end in Detroit.

NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero first reported Saturday that the longtime Detroit Lions quarterback wants out:

“After meetings in recent weeks in which Stafford expressed a desire for a fresh start, the Lions understood his position and plan to begin discussing trade options in the coming weeks for their star quarterback, per sources.

The sides have had open and healthy discussions since the season ended. But with the Lions starting over again, hiring Dan Campbell as head coach and Brad Holmes as general manager, Stafford told the team he feels it’s the right time to move on and team officials agreed, per sources.

Sources close to Local 4 have confirmed the report.

ESPN reports Campbell and Holmes were told that Stafford was not expected to be with the team before they were hired. “They knew the situation and still embraced it.”

Stafford is the Lions all-time franchise leader in all major offensive passing categories. He has spent his entire NFL career in Detroit.

Stafford, 32, was drafted by Detroit first overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Since then, Stafford has passed for more than 45,000 yards and 280 touchdowns.

NFL.com notes that “any trade would likely happen prior to the fifth day of the 2021 league year in March, when Stafford is due a $10 million roster bonus. The Lions would carry $19 million in dead money on their salary cap in 2021, but a trade would yield a savings of $14 million in cap space and $20 million in cash at a time the NFL’s salary cap is expected to drop.”

The Lions hold the No. 7 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Related: Dan Campbell’s memorable intro gets mixed reviews from Lions fans, pundits


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