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Lions actively looking to trade Matthew Stafford

Lions actively looking to trade Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford has been the Lions franchise quarterback since 2009, but it looks like he won’t be the team’s signal caller in 2021.

The 32-year-old Stafford told the Lions in recent meetings that he would like a fresh start, according to NFL.com. The team understood his stance and plan to begin looking to trade their star quarterback in the coming weeks, according to the report.

The Lions named Dan Campbell their new coach on Wednesday, signing him to a six-year deal, one day after they made Brad Holmes their new general manager. Detroit gave Holmes a five-year contract.

This could put the Lions, who have the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, in an even stronger position to make a run at finding a new franchise quarterback.

Stafford, the No. 1-overall pick in the 2009 draft, had a good 12 years in Detroit, setting franchise records with 45,109 passing yards and 282 touchdown passes. But he was only able to lead the team to three playoff appearances, without a postseason win.

Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford
Getty Images

Stafford didn’t have the luxury of continuity during his time in Detroit. He played for four different head coaches, including interim coach Darrell Bevell last season.

Despite Stafford’s injury history and mixed record of success, he likely will command interest in the trade market. Part of that reason is economic. He has two years and $43 million left on his contract, which is a good deal for a veteran quarterback who has had a fair share of success.

The Colts, Patriots, Broncos, Saints, Panthers and Washington are teams looking for a quarterback.

The Jets’ quarterback situation is also fluid as the team decides whether to keep Sam Darnold or make a run at a more established quarterback such as Deshaun Watson. Now Stafford also will be on the market, potentially creating another QB option for general manager Joe Douglas and new coach Robert Saleh.

According to NFL.com, any Stafford trade would take place before the fifth day of the 2021 league year in March, when the veteran quarterback is due a $10 million roster bonus. The report also stated the Lions would carry $19 million in dead money on their salary cap in 2021. A trade however bring forth a savings of $14 million in cap space and $20 million in cash at a time the NFL’s salary cap is expected to drop.

Stafford played all 16 games last season, though he battled through rib, neck, ankle and right thumb injuries, but none of those injuries are expected to require offseason surgery, according to the report.

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Erin Clark

Erin is a sports enthusiast who loves indulging in occasional football matches. She is a passionate journalist who flaunts a perfect hold over the English language. She currently caters her skills for the sports and health section of Report Door.

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