The Detroit Lions and New England Patriots are a pair of teams in need of a reboot after frustrating seasons. Big changes could be on the way in both locales, and the biggest could be at the quarterback position.
According to former NFL star Bart Scott, it’s time for the Lions to move on from Matthew Stafford and send him to the New England Patriots to replace Tom Brady. Speaking on the ESPN show Get Up this week, Scott, a Detroit native, was emphatic that it’s time for the team to make a bold move.
“I think Matt Patricia could really do his former boss who got him started and groomed him up in Bill Belichick (a favor) and send Matthew Stafford to the Patriots in return for a first round draft pick,” Scott said on the show. “It allows Matt Patricia to buy some time. Matthew Stafford is an elite quarterback, a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback. What have you won with him? He’s the only asset you have. This team is not going to win or contend in that division this year or the year after. Get Tua (Tagovailoa), Tua can sit for a year and now Patricia has his quarterback of the future. They can rebuild this offense, rebuild this team in Detroit.”
The others on the set, including former Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, disagreed with the notion that the Lions should sell off Stafford and essentially give up on 2020.
“If he does that, he’s going to get fired,” Orlovsky said. “If you’re Matt Patricia and if you have 9 wins in two years, you have to win by the middle of October, you’re going to trade away the only person who gives you a chance to win football games for a first round pick? You’re firing yourself.”
Rumors persist that the Lions could draft Tua Tagovailoa if the medicals check out, but Stafford remains under contract. It’s up in the air as it relates to what the Patriots will do with Brady and if he will be motivated to return to New England.
The Lions might have a big decision to make, and they have been trade partners with the Patriots before given the connection between staffs and front offices. That makes this possible move a slam dunk according to Scott.
Matthew Stafford Motivated Heading Into 2020
Wherever he plays, Stafford has said he will be healthy in 2020, and that is the best news thus far even as the season finished poorly in Detroit.
“I feel really good. I’m really close. I’m not going to be on the shelf all offseason which is good,” Stafford said. That’s positive news indeed.
In terms of his team, Stafford knows just what everyone has to do in order to get over the hump, and it’s focused on finishing games.
“I think we were close in a lot of ’em. Had a bunch of leads and didn’t win, and that’s tough to swallow. Had opportunities really in every phase,” he said. “I think everybody’s got to raise their level of play. Every player has to raise their level of play. Coaches do a great job of self evaluation and where they can improve.”
Matthew Stafford’s 2019 Stats
Doing his best to try and shift the narrative from those who are negative about him, Stafford has been on a tear so far this season, putting up more touchdowns than interceptions. He put up 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s played consistent and looks the part of a guy who is ready to make the 30s the best years of his career. The Lions also have a better offense under Stafford now, as they are being led by Darrell Bevell, a guy who has worked with elite quarterbacks and elite offenses before.
This season, Stafford’s play was a breath of fresh air for the team, and they’ve needed him playing well to have the respectable start they have had thus far. It seems the team’s new offense, which is putting up numbers and popular in the locker room, is suiting its quarterback well. Mistakes have been limited and the big plays have come more freely and frequently.
Stafford seems to be on the right track toward getting the Lions over the hump. The hope for fans is that he has a quick recovery and can get back soon for a team that badly needs him on the field.
It would seem counterproductive for the Lions to give up on Stafford at this point, but that’s just what is being suggested.