The future of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has come into focus in recent weeks, and that has led plenty to start thinking about what moves could be made with the quarterback this offseason.
According to ESPN personality Max Kellerman, the move the Lions should make is simple, and it’s to dump Stafford to an AFC contender in the New England Patriots. On First Take, Kellerman said that he wants to see the move made this offseason as a replacement for Tom Brady.
“Stafford was great this year. MVP caliber. He has always been a top-five talent and he has never quite gotten those results. Give him to Bill Belichick and let’s see what happens,” Kellerman said. “Injury might be a concern and all that but Stafford with Belichick? I would love to see that.”
According to Kellerman, a move for Stafford would be the best of the bunch for the team.
“The Patriots and Lions have done deals before. Because the cupboard is bare once Tom Brady leaves, who is going to be available? Start thinking about the guys maybe available. Not the remains of Philip Rivers. Rivers doesn’t have enough in the tank. Cam Newton is coming off injury and is not the kind of pocket passer you think of Bill Belichick wanting. An elite talent with Bill Belchick as coach? Whew.”
Marcus Spears disagreed with Kellerman’s assessment.
“Matt Patricia trading away Matthew Stafford in a year the owner from the Lions said was make or break? That would be crazy for him to do that, especially not knowing what you’re going to have after him,” he said.
Matthew Stafford Trade to Patriots Proposed
Kellerman’s opinion was shared by Bart Scott on ESPN. Should the Lions deal Stafford to New England to make up for the loss of Brady? That’s something which has been proposed in recent days.
According to Scott, it’s time for the Lions to move on from Stafford and send him to the Patriots to replace Brady. Speaking on the ESPN show Get Up recently, 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 and also Kellerman.
Bob Quinn Speaks on Matthew Stafford’s Status
Stafford’s future has been open to interpretation with rumors swirling that the team could draft someone else or move on entirely. Bob Quinn, however, joined SiriusXM NFL Radio and explained why none of that could be the case at all.
“I’m totally comfortable and happy Matthew Stafford’s our quarterback. He’s going to be in full health once the offseason program starts its course. He’s pretty much at full health right now. Talked to him about 10 days ago,” Quinn said in the interview. “He was in the office so he’s feeling great. He’s in a good mindset, he’s excited. Obviously he’s a competitor so to miss half the season was hard on him. But he did a great job with our backup quarterbacks.”
Specifically, Quinn admitted he liked watching Stafford work with the backups and prepare them. That let him know the team is in good hands moving forward.
“Just behind the scenes, seeing him in a different light,” he said. “Since I’ve been there he’s been at every practice and every game. To see him in coach mode was pretty cool to see. He really cares about not only our team and his teammates and his leadership, really helping those other quarterbacks learn our system on the fly when he went down.”
That leads Quinn to feel positively about Stafford moving forward and the impact he might have on the team.
“I feel great about Matthew. He’s going to come back strong and we’re ready to go for next year,” he said.
These quotes would seem to throw cold water on the notion that the Lions would draft a quarterback early or decide to deal Stafford this offseason.
In this case, however, it won’t stop the analysts from talking.