For 11 seasons, Matthew Stafford has been the most important man on the field for the Detroit Lions. Whether Stafford reprises that role for a 12th season depends on who you ask.
A report emerged early Thursday suggesting the team had been shopping Stafford in trades the past few weeks, according to WDIV-TV in Detroit. With the Lions picking third in the NFL draft, there’s been speculation the team could consider taking a quarterback at that spot and trade Stafford to get extra pieces. That speculation has gotten loud enough that Stafford’s wife, Kelly, posted on Instagram that she wouldn’t mind living in California if the Lions are actually going to trade her husband.
Turns out, the Staffords have nothing to worry about. Lions general manager Bob Quinn addressed the rumor Thursday, telling the Detroit Free Press it was “100% False!!” He used two exclamation points, so you know he’s extra serious.
While you might think that’s just a team exec trying to do damage control, Quinn may be telling the truth. The way Stafford’s contract is set up, the Lions would take a huge hit against the cap if they deal the 32-year-old Stafford, according to Chris Burke of The Athletic.
Stafford was in the midst of a comeback season before a back injury caused him to miss half the year. In eight games, Stafford threw 19 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Assuming he’s still around, Stafford will look to build on those numbers in 2020. While the Lions could opt to get younger at quarterback during the draft, a resurgent Stafford remains their best chance at immediately turning things around and contending next season.
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