Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been rumoured by some to be on the trade block but don’t expect him to be leaving the only professional franchise he’s ever known anytime soon.
Stafford has played his entire 11-season career with the Lions after being selected first overall in 2009 and though he’s performed well individually, the club has only made three playoff appearances during his tenure, never advancing past the wild-card round.
Bernie Smilovitz of WDIV-TV reported that trade talks involving Stafford have been underway for “a couple of weeks,” citing sources close to the Lions.
Kelly Stafford, Matthew’s wife, posted on her Instagram story “Well if detroit is done with us... I could stay in Cali” with the shrugging emoji at the end, linking to a post listing the Los Angeles Chargers as the top destination for her husband’s next move.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn, however, strongly denied this notion.
“100% False!!” Quinn texted Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press.
Stafford held a 136-game ironman streak until November 2019 before he was diagnosed with non-displaced fractures in his upper thoracic spine and missed the remainder of the season.
It’s been speculated that the Lions could replace Stafford in the draft with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa mentioned as an excellent fit, although he has legitimate injury concerns of his own stemming from a pervasive hip ailment.
Stafford would cost the Lions $32 million in dead cap space if he were to be traded, which makes a potential deal to the Chargers a practical impossibility, as well.
It doesn’t look like the Lions have any intention of trading their quarterback but it likely signifies that things may need to change imminently as the club continues to toil in the NFC North with two consecutive finishes in the division’s basement.
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