This offseason projects as an unprecedented one in terms of quarterback movement. One high profile veteran signal-caller who will definitely be on the move is Matthew Stafford, who is set to be traded after 12 years with the Lions.
We heard yesterday that Detroit was preparing to start trade talks, and it sounds like things are heating up. There’s “significant interest” in Stafford, and “about a third of the league” has already called the Lions to inquire, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link). That would suggest that anywhere from 10-12 teams have already reached out to gauge the asking price.
To that end, Rapoport says the team “should be able to get at least a first-rounder” in any trade. There have been suggestions that the Lions want to wrap things up quickly, and it sure sounds like Stafford could have a new home before too long. The obvious contenders like the Colts, Broncos, Washington etc. are quite likely among the teams who have placed calls, but there are at least a handful of wild card teams at play here as well.
We’ve already heard that the 49ers could be interested in making a deal. Meanwhile, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says he would be surprised if the Patriots don’t at least sniff around the situation. As he notes though, the return of Matt Patricia to New England’s coaching staff could complicate things if he and Stafford don’t have the best relationship (which isn’t necessarily the case).
Interestingly, Reiss also writes that if the 49ers pull off a trade for Stafford it could have a ripple effect where Bill Belichick is able to re-acquire Jimmy Garoppolo from San Francisco. That would certainly be a crazy arc. Whatever happens, we should have a lot more on the Stafford front soon.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.