Longtime Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has requested a trade -- and the rumor mill is moving fast.
“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.
Per league Source: Stafford approached the team with idea of being traded.— Jamie Edmonds (@Jamie_Edmonds) January 24, 2021
GM/coaching candidates were informed of the possibility during interview process.
Stafford talked to Holmes/Campbell, all side agree as long as they receive "fair market value" @Local4News
Potential landing spots for Stafford:
Luckily for the Lions, several teams are looking for a quarterback heading into the offseason.
- Indianapolis Colts: QB Phillip Rivers announced his retirement last week, opening up a quarterback position on a team that is already a playoff team.
- Denver Broncos: The Broncos have been searching for a stable quarterback since Peyton Manning retired. They should be in the mix.
- San Francisco 49ers: The Niners have reportedly poked around about Stafford, though it’s unclear if the team is actually interested or just kicking the tires. Are the Niners moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo?
- New Orleans Saints: It’s unclear what the Saints will do with Drew Brees expected to retire. If they aren’t going to roll with Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill, Stafford could be an option.
- Washington Football Team: It’s unlikely that Washington is going to roll with Alex Smith as their longterm quarterback option. The team has the defense and adding a fringe-MVP quarterback could be the key to a playoff run.
The Lions are reportedly seeking a first-round pick for Stafford in any trade scenario.
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.