Tua Tagovailoa could theoretically get picked anywhere early in the 2020 NFL Draft, but there has been less and less buzz of the Detroit Lions being the team to select the player as weeks have gone on.
That hasn’t changed the idea that the team should go with Tagovailoa as one analyst is concerned. Recently, Adam Hoge, who covers the Chicago Bears for NBC Sports Chicago, explained what he would do if he was Detroit with the No. 3 pick. As he said, while Tagovailoa is not without concerns, the team should simply pick a dynamic talent and move on from Matthew Stafford in the end.
“Yes, the hip is a concern. But so is Stafford’s back. Tagovailoa is good enough to take a big risk, especially for an organization like the Lions who really need a quarterback capable of putting the national spotlight on Detroit. With all due respect to Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, you don’t take a cornerback at No. 3 overall when you have a quarterback as talented as Tua Tagovailoa sitting there for the entire city to embrace.
So here’s my advice to Bob Quinn: draft Tua and trade Stafford.
Stafford’s contract is complicated, but the results of a trade are simple. The Lions will take on a large immediate cap hit, which they have plenty of room to absorb. As a result, they will create a very affordable, three-year, team-friendly contract for the team that trades for Stafford, which will only help the return in the deal. In the end, the Lions would have Tua Tagovailoa on a rookie contract, a good return for Stafford (maybe an additional first round pick?), and $33 million of additional cap space in 2021 and $26 million of additional cap space in 2022 to improve other areas of the roster.”
It’s true that the Lions don’t need a quarterback, but if they were to get their hands on Tagovailoa, they would have to make a move with Stafford. Hoge surmises that in such a situation, they could spin Stafford off to the New England Patriots.
It seems like a stretch to say any of this will be happening, but it doesn’t stop people from campaigning for it.
Colin Cowherd Doesn’t Like Tua Tagovailoa’s Fit With Lions
Even though it doesn’t seem likely to happen at all, what would the fit of Tagovailoa in Detroit be? Not great according to Fox Sports analyst Colin Cowherd. Recently, Cowherd looked at grading all the fits for Tagovailoa, and the Lions didn’t get high marks from the host. They ended up with a D.
“Matt Patricia, this is his last year there. I don’t think it’s going to work,” Cowherd said. “He’s 9-22. I think Minnesota and Green Bay are better teams that are going to have a combined 22 draft picks. I think Chicago, Nick Foles is going to win the starting job. They’re going to be better. He’s going to a bad team. He’s going to have a new coach if he went to Detroit by his second year. They lost Darius Slay on a defense that wasn’t very good. Their best corner.”
Obviously, the Lions don’t have a huge need for a quarterback with Matthew Stafford in the mix and Chase Daniel just signed to back him up. As a result, Cowherd might be right that the fit isn’t great, but it’s not great for the Lions as much as he thinks it’s not good for Tagovailoa.
All this combined makes it likely the team goes in a different direction than Tagovailoa when all is said and done this draft season, even as some see it as a good idea.
Matthew Stafford Won’t Get Traded
No matter the rumors or the negativity, it’s clear Stafford isn’t moving and Tagovailoa is not likely to be the picl anyway. Speaking at the NFL Combine, Lions general manager Bob Quinn spoke about the trade rumors regarding Stafford and once again admitted the rumors of the Lions dangling their quarterback is false. Additionally, Quinn explained that he has connected with Stafford, and the quarterback wants to stay with the Lions in Detroit.
Stafford’s commitment to the Lions makes sense given how much time and effort he has put into quarterbacking the team since he was selected by the team in 2009. Stafford would likely be the last to ask for a trade and would likely want to stick and try to win in Detroit. That much has been confirmed by his wife and family before.
Now, the Lions will set out to build around their leader at quarterback.
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