Lions Shoot Down Matthew Stafford Trade Talk

On Wednesday night, a local Detroit TV station reported that the Lions have been discussing a Matthew Stafford trade for the past few weeks. Early Thursday morning, GM Bob Quinn issued a strong denial.

100% False!!” Quinn wrote in a text message to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

After a 3-12-1 season, the Lions figure to make plenty of changes this offseason. Those changes apparently won’t include the departure of Stafford, who has been their starter for the past eleven seasons. Even if the Lions did want to move on, Stafford’s contract would be an impediment. Thanks to his lucrative deal, and a restructuring of the pact late last year, a trade or release would result in a $32MM dead money hit against the 2020 cap. Instead, Stafford will stay put and count for a $21.3MM charge.

It was a trying year for Stafford, who saw his streak of 136 consecutive starts come to a halt in November. Even with fractured bones in his back, Stafford tried and hoped for a quick recovery that would allow him to retake the field last season. That didn’t happen – his season ended after eight starts, nearly 2,500 passing yards and 19 touchdowns against five interceptions.

Now 32, Stafford still profiles as a veteran QB who can help the team win. His presence won’t preclude the team from exploring passers in the draft, either. The Lions hold the No. 3 pick, which should give them the opportunity to select anyone not named Joe Burrow. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, for example, figures to be available. Given his serious hip injury, it would make perfect sense for Stafford to operate as the team’s starter while Tagovailoa works his way back to full strength. Same goes for Justin Herbert or any rookie QB in need of seasoning.

Or, instead, the Lions could parlay their No. 3 pick into a host of picks to address multiple holes. If the Bengals stand pat at No. 1 and take Burrow, and the Redskins keep their No. 2 pick to select Chase Young, the Lions would be in a great position to trade with another team desperate to land their QB of choice while he’s still up for grabs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “Lions Shoot Down Matthew Stafford Trade Talk

  1. afsooner02

    Detroit should trade down. Too many holes needing fixing and stafford, when healthy, is a decent QB. (2nd best in the NFC north….although that’s not saying much.)

    Get staffords replacement next season or in 22.

  2. tigersgm

    Trade him when they can get something for him, don’t be
    Like the Tigers and let opportunities pass

  3. Rich

    Dave Birkett is trolling the Lions. He’s trying to make a story where none exists and either ignored the financial impacts of a cut/trade or doesn’t understand them.

  4. Vin Scully

    The Lions should do the right thing with Stafford. He is a good man who deserves to play for a better organization. Let him free.

  5. Matthew Heywood

    If they get the right deal they should trade him as they are going nowhere right now and need a lot of help

  6. pjsportsdude85

    detroit better at least act like drafting tua. bring him in for a workout. then trade down down. nobody will think they are serious and trade up unless they see evidence of consideration

  7. bradthebluefish

    Trade him away. Fresh start for all. He costs way too much money and I’m getting concerned about his back.

  8. crosseyedlemon

    Not only should the Lions not trade Matt Stafford but they should retire his number when his career ends. Bobby Layne received that honor after he played 97 games for Detroit and posted a 63.7 passer rating. Matt has played 149 games to date with a 89.3 rating so he is even more deserving of the honor.

    • Vin Scully

      Cross.. But why punish Stafford? Let him go somewhere he can at least sniff a lite success.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I don’t think Matt feels he’s being punished. I believe he has stated publicly that he wants to retire as a Lion.

        • JrodFunk5

          Comparing passer ratings from previous eras to the present is incredibly ignorant.

  9. Rich

    The $32MM dead cap hit has been lost on many of you.

    Also, you don’t have bluff teams into thinking you’re taking Tua at #3, you only need one team that believes other teams want Tua and would be willing to trade up to get him.

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