Former Chiefs GM believes Matt Stafford trade happens before Super Bowl

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JP Finlay
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Stafford trade will happen 'before the Super Bowl,' per former GM originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Detroit told the football world that quarterback Matthew Stafford is available via trade, and for one former NFL general manager, the deal won't take long. 

"I see the trade getting done in the next two weeks," Scott Pioli said Tuesday via Good Morning Football

Pioli, who won Super Bowls in New England as the VP of Player Personnel and served as Chiefs GM from 2009 to 2012, explained that when the Lions publicly opened up the possibility of trading Stafford that the move would happen fast. 

"My instincts are telling me they’re looking to get a trade done, and they’re looking to get a trade done quickly," he said. "They had to know about this earlier than when they let the rest of the football world know."

His theory went about like this - as soon as Detroit announced the hirings of new GM Brad Holmes and new head coach Dan Campbell, word that Stafford was available emerged. There's no way those two took those jobs without a clear indication what was going to happen at quarterback. 

While there is some argument about where Stafford ranks around the league as a passer, there's no doubt he's a strong option for a number of teams. 

Simply put, there are never enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL and a veteran coming off a 4,000-yard season with 26 touchdowns against 10 interceptions while completing 64 percent of his passes will have significant value on the trade market. 

Specific to Washington, Stafford would likely immediately step in as the starter and stabilize the QB position. 

What it would cost to obtain Stafford remains a question, and what type of contract extension the soon to be 33-year-old would want adds to the equation too. 

Currently, Washington's QB cupboard looks quite bare.

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Alex Smith is the only passer under contract for 2021, and he carries a $24 million salary cap hit. His return to the field in 2020 was legendary after a gruesome leg injury in 2018, but a late season calf injury/bone bruise put a damper on his long-term prospects, not to mention he turns 37 in May.

Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke are both restricted free agents, which means Washington can bring one or both back with relative ease. And while Heinicke endeared himself to players and fans with an impressive Wild Card performance against Tampa, both Allen and Heinicke project as long-term backups, not starters. 

Considering the youth and talent on Washington's defense, and the impressive performance in the second half of the 2020 season for the group, Ron Rivera's team needs to figure out the QB position. 

Washington seems poised to contend for NFC East titles for the immediate future, if only it can land a quarterback. 

That's been said inside the beltway for decades, and while Stafford is available right now, that might not last long.