Report: Matt Stafford was fine going anywhere but Patriots

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Ryan Homler
·2 min read
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Report: Matt Stafford was fine going anywhere but Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Prior to Matt Stafford being sent to the Rams in a blockbuster trade Saturday night that included two first round picks, a third round pick and quarterback Jared Goff to the Lions in return, it had been reported that numerous teams were trying to acquire the veteran passer.

That includes the New England Patriots, a team back on the hunt to replace Tom Brady after Cam Newton failed to lock down the position in 2020. Stafford and the Patriots seemed to be a good fit on paper, given that one side needed a QB and had cap room, and the other would get a chance to work with arguably the best coach of all-time in a culture that is way more familiar with winning that Detroit.

Most would agree that's a good deal, but Stafford wasn't one of them.

According to NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran, Stafford was comfortable being traded anywhere but New England. 

That preference does not matter now and may have never been the deciding factor given the massive haul the Rams gave up to land the QB -- and Los Angeles was a place Stafford reportedly had his eye on -- but Curran reported that New England was "heavily involved" in the pursuit of Stafford.

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Why Stafford wouldn't want to go play for the Patriots is somewhat unknown considering the opportunity to work with Belichick. It could, however, have something to do with his former head coach in Matt Patricia. Patricia led Stafford and the Lions from 2018 to 2020, though he was fired midway through the most recent season due to poor performance.

In that time, the head coach wasn't exactly the most well-liked. Reports surfaced saying players were unhappy with his style of coaching. Given that Patricia came from Belichick's coaching tree -- and is back in New England as an assistant -- Stafford may have wanted to avoid going through that again.

In the end, all that is certain is that the Patriots remain in the same boat as the Washington Football Team, which also went after Stafford but failed to close the deal. As the offseason continues, the quarterback position remains unsolved.