Matthew Stafford: There Were Teams I Didn’t Want To Play For

A few days ago we heard Matthew Stafford dish on his trade process, including about how he knew a move was possible prior to the 2020 season, and offer insights into a few of the potential destinations before the Rams eventually stepped up. Now Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press (subscription required) has published the second part of their interview, and there are more interesting nuggets to pore over.

There was a report that Stafford didn’t want to go to the Patriots, perhaps due to the presence of Matt Patricia. Albom asked him about that and while he didn’t specifically name New England, he did admit that there were certain teams he didn’t want to play for.

Well, what’s accurate is — and this is an incredible thing by them — I asked to go to a team that was ready to win a championship. And, you know, there were a few teams on that list. There were a few teams that were not on that list. And they were respectful of that and understood completely. I had thoughts and reasons for each one of them,” Stafford said while raving about how the Lions handled the situation.

It sounds like he saw New England struggle to field a competitive team in 2020, and wanted no part of it. Stafford also acknowledged that the Rams would’ve been his top choice all along, which was rumored to be the case. He did try to tamp down the speculation by speaking highly of Patricia.

He and I had a good relationship, no matter what anybody wants to say. I could go into his office and talk to him, he could get me on the phone whenever he needed to. I think we both grew in that relationship. I have a lot of respect for him and who he is, as a football coach and an unbelievable mind,” Stafford said of his former coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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24 comments on “Matthew Stafford: There Were Teams I Didn’t Want To Play For

  1. arty!

    Why then sign extensions/new contracts w/ Detroit? Pretty clear during his entire life– plus his parent’s & grand parents as well, that the Lions are awful.

    • Bill Smith

      He knew he had a sweet gig here. Big bucks to be just okay at his job, not prove anything on the field, and sure as hell no expectations or pressure to win a playoff game, much less a SB. The Ford’s and the Lions front office kissed his ass, brought in the guys he wanted around him, and did whatever little Matty wanted, right up to trading Matty where he told them to, regardless of whether or not it was the best/right deal for the Lions.

      • beerncheese

        This Packer fan always thought pretty highly Stafford. Tough competitor. Gamer who played hurt. Never had a complete team with good coaching around him. I admire the respect he and lions have for each other.

        But hey, I also enjoyed beating them regularly.

      • DetroitDave84

        I don’t think that’s an accurate statement at all. Stafford is a tough SOB and played hurt all the time. He had a RB go over 100 yards 4x in 12 years so how in the heck he supposed to win when every team plays the pass on every down? No one can win without having some balance. Additionally, the defense gave up so many quick strikes, he had to pass all the time and was always playing from behind. Think about how many come back wins he had over his 12 years. You don’t normally have that many but because the Lions were always behind, he single handily brought them back. Stafford will simply be the QB he always could have been if he had a decent balanced team. Stafford will win 12 games this year with LA, make the playoffs and probably playing GB or TB in the championship game with a chance to go the Super Bowl.

      • compassrose

        He should have pulled a Barry Sanders and retired instead of getting beat up all season long. Or asked for a trade earlier. Maybe he was loyal to the team that drafted him you have to give him credit for that.

        • cka2nd

          Keep in mind, though, that he was only 30 when Matt Patricia was hired, and they carried over Jim Bob Cooter to be his OC that first year. I can understand Stafford having patience with the franchise through five years of Schwartz, four with Caldwell and the first two with Patricia. He’s probably only had that “the end is nearer than the beginning” feeling the last year or two, especially after missing eight games in 2019.

    • jorge78

      I think they won some NFL Championships when his grandparents were young…..

  2. Bill Smith

    This just gives an inside look at what I was saying back when the trade rumors started; that Stafford would call his shot, and he’d tell the Ford’s where to trade him, and the Ford’s would bend over to do exactly as that “nice boy, Matty” told them.

    • Regi Green

      Well,they could use the good reference going forward.Its not as if they got hosed in the deal,they got a nice package in return.

    • Courtside

      Dude you are just bitter. They never gave him a team. They never added anyone to to run to help him or megatron. Same as they never put a team around Barry.

      The Lions were ready to rebuild and Stafford was ready to move on. They have a new QB and some picks and Stafford gets chance to win. No reason for anyone to be upset

  3. sportsfan101

    Based on the picks they gave up bc of goffs contract there going no where anytime soon, Seattle, Green Bay, Tampa bay all still way better then the Rams. He got his wish but won’t ever see a ring

    • rocky7

      Why would a starting QB like Stafford want to play for teams like Seattle with Wilson, Green Bay with Rodgers, or Tampa Bay with Brady all of which are going nowhere over the next 2+ years (yes Brady may play forever)….just so he can sit, and wait…..makes no sense…aside from the fact that either of these acquiring teams would have to play immense money for him being a backup QB…….so he’s immediately starting for the SoCal Rams who certainly have the talent but lacked the QB to take them further…..ever visit SoCal and you’re wondering why?

    • amk1920

      Wrong. Rams with a competent QB are the best team in the NFC. They beat Tampa on the road easily. Seahawks are about to fall off a cliff, it’s not even debatable the Rams are better than them. They gave the Packers a game with Donald on broken ribs. There is a good chance Stafford will be playing in his home stadium for Super Bowl 56.

    • myaccount

      The Seahawks, who lost in the playoffs to the Rams with Goff, are somehow worse with a better QB? I don’t get it.

      • There is way more to a team than just the QB. Besides, is Wilson going to stop whining soon enough to play this year, and will the OL he threw under the bus be motivated to block for him? Mr Unlimited…what a joke

    • Chief Two Hands

      The Rams just knocked Seattle out of the playoffs and will be significantly better with Stafford instead of Goff.

  4. MileHighFan

    I’ll give Stafford credit for wanting to play his last couple years on a contender – as he gave all he had for years to accomplish nothing.

  5. Aaron Hall

    Sheila Ford i believe is dedicated to a true rebuild and letting Stafford go was the first step…only in fairness does he deserve to play elsewhere and win…
    However Goff is not the answer i would have rather traded with Carolina for Bridgewater and the #8 pick…

  6. jay13

    I get where @bill smith is going. However, to say Stafford was a mediocre QB with what he was given is crazy talk. Biggest stat to see is 4 times(total in his WHOLE career) a RB went over a 100 yards rushing. To me, that is not on the player. It is on the coaching and the minds putting the pieces in place for that player to succeed.

    As a die hard Lions fan, I give Stafford all the praise and wish him well. He did his best with what he was given. I really feel Shiela Ford is sick of being a door mat. Getting mom and dad out of the everyday decisions was a huge move. I think we have a pretty good coaching staff and the Brad Holmes hiring was gold IMO.

  7. bradthebluefish

    Maybe Stafford is telling the truth. That Stafford did have a good relationship with Patricia but wanted to go to a team that was a sure thing (e.g. didnt have a losing season).

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