What would it take for the Colts to trade for Matthew Stafford?

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Kevin Hickey
·4 min read
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Without question, the biggest offseason storyline for the Indianapolis Colts revolves around what they will do at the quarterback position. One available option, it seems, is trading for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

The 32-year-old signal-caller is reportedly available for trade with the rebuilding Lions. With an abundance of salary cap space, enough draft capital and a roster ready to win now, the Colts appear to be a premiere landing spot for the veteran.

It can be difficult to gauge what the value is for a player like Stafford, so we called on some very smart individuals on both sides to see what they think would be a fair deal to get Stafford wearing the horseshoe.

It should also be noted that the following should be considered educated speculation and more of our personal opinions on what a trade could look like.

With that, here’s what they believe it would take for the Colts to acquire Stafford:

Kevin Hickey, Colts Wire: “While trading up for a quarterback in the draft is likely better for the long-term, that seems to be very difficult given how many teams need quarterbacks this offseason. In order to grab one of the top four, it would likely cost the Colts somewhere around three first-round picks.

Enter Stafford, who could thrive under Frank Reich and give the Colts an above-average option at quarterback with a roster ready to win now. The Colts are most definitely going to have to part ways with the No. 21 overall pick and their second-rounder either this year or in 2022. That seems like a fair price for both teams and I’d be willing to add a future sixth-rounder if that would make the difference over another team getting Stafford.”

Sam Sinclair, Colts Wire: “It’s not often a franchise-changing type QB like Matthew Stafford becomes available on the open market. Luckily for Indianapolis, there won’t be multiple teams offering trades for Stafford. The Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and San Francisco 49ers could be in the Stafford bidding war with the Colts. If I was Chris Ballard, I would start the conversation with their own first-round pick (pick 21), and see if an additional 3rd round pick of next season would do it.”

John Alfieri, Colts Wire: “It’s hard to argue that Stafford to the Colts wouldn’t be a perfect fit. As we saw with Rivers last year, if you can protect a quarterback and give them time to throw, it can completely transform their style of play. Stafford is best known for his pocket presence and his big-play capability, two things that would benefit the Colts’ offense immensely. To get Stafford, it will likely cost the No. 21 pick in the draft, but if Chris Ballard can negotiate a second-round pick bundled with later round selections, then that is more feasible. At this point in his career, Stafford is still valuable, but it should not cost an entire draft to get the 32-year-old quarterback.”

Jeff Risdon, Lions Wire: “I really like the idea of Stafford as a fit for the Colts. One of the most fitting comparisons for Stafford throughout his career has been Philip Rivers, and he could step right into the Rivers void. His ability to make tight-window throws and willingness to throw them raised the level of play of the Lions receivers and he could do that with guys like Michael Pittman Jr. too.

At least a 1st. From where IND is picking probably 1 and 2 this year. The salary isn’t prohibitive, but it’s also a short enough contract that if Stafford somehow doesn’t work out or gets injured, acquiring him doesn’t ruin the Colts long-term. No worries at all about scheme fit for the Frank Reich offense, or if they tweak it while replacing Sirianni. Stafford is very smart and does have some ability with his legs, though it should be used judiciously.”

Erik Schlitt, Lions Wire: “Despite it being known that Stafford and the Lions are prepared to move on from one another, there will be plenty of suitors calling GM Brad Holmes. Stafford and the Lions have agreed they won’t settle for a deal unless they receive “fair market value” and that starts at a first-round pick, a day two pick, along with some other forms of compensation. Because the Colts hold the 21st overall selection, the day two pick may need to be a second-rounder.”

Jake Arthur, AllColts (SI)/Bleav In Colts Podcast: “The good news for the Colts (or any potential trade partner) is that Detroit doesn’t seem to have much leverage. We already know Stafford isn’t coming back, regardless. Still, I imagine it’ll still take a first-round pick as well as a third-fifth depending on where the other team picks. Adding a player into it of course lessens the draft capital you have to spend, but who might the Colts ship out in that scenario?”

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