Lions Trade Rumors: Team Suggested as Possible Destination for Young Quarterback

Josh Rosen

Getty Josh Rosen fires a pass for Miami in 2019.

The Detroit Lions have committed to Matthew Stafford for 2020, but there is little debate that the team could need to look for a developmental quarterback behind him soon.

Should the team look into Josh Rosen who is reportedly on the trading block for the Miami Dolphins? According to a Bleacher Report article, that should be the case. Recently, the potential landing spots for Rosen were rated and according to Brent Sobleski, the Lions need to look into adding the young thrower for the future.

Sobleski wrote:

“The Stafford family’s pending move happened to coincide with the fact that the 32-year-old played in only half the games last season because of a back injury. However, the Lions were in a position to select Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa if they wanted to replace Stafford, and obviously that didn’t turn out to be the case.

The 2009 first overall pick’s contract remains a sticking point, though. The Lions have yet to win a postseason contest with Stafford leading the way. Meanwhile, his 2021 salary-cap number escalates to $33 million. Detroit can save $14 million by releasing Stafford next offseason if the franchise doesn’t show significant improvement.

Last season’s 3-12-1 record doesn’t fall squarely on Stafford’s shoulders, and it’s unfair for anyone to lay the majority of the blame at the quarterback’s feet. Besides, he played well before his season was cut short.

But the Lions must plan for the possibility of further turnover. Rosen can be a long-term insurance policy since current backup Chase Daniel turns 34 this year and started five career games.

Another disappointing campaign could signal the end of head coach Matt Patricia and possibly Stafford. Even if a new regime enters the fray, Stafford could remain with Rosen developing behind the veteran as an enticing selling point for another general manager/head coach combo.”

The suggested compensation from the Lions? A fifth round selection. There is no question if a quarterback like Rosen was available the Lions should look into the move, but simple reality says it’s not likely. Detroit has Chase Daniel entrenched as backup and David Blough still on the roster. There is simply no room at this point in time barring someone else leaving.

Thus far in his career, Rosen hasn’t been given much of a fair chance to show what he can do with just 2,845 passing yards and 12 touchdowns in his career to 19 interceptions. It’s not likely he would get much more of a chance in Detroit with Stafford still around. For those reasons, this move seems unlikely.

It sure doesn’t stop folks from speculating about it, though.

Matt Patricia Explains Why Lions Love Matthew Stafford

Recently, Matt Patricia went on Good Morning Football and was asked about the offseason of rumors that seemed to never stop churning as it related to the quarterback. Patricia simply put the stop to those talks with a solid explanation.

“One of the main reasons I came to the Detroit Lions was Matthew Stafford. I have the utmost respect for him as a player,” Patricia said. “I think he’s a phenomenal teammate. He’s a great football mind. He loves to talk the game. I just get fired up when I get the chance to talk to him and go over strategy. From that standpoint for me, it’s kind of a crazy conversation when that stuff comes up.”

As Patricia said, he gets why some coaches want change at the quarterback spot, but he is just the opposite when it comes to Stafford, choosing to build around him.

“I do understand when coaches maybe go into franchises and they’re trying to re-do everything there, maybe go younger, get a less expensive quarterback, whatever it is to build around pieces they feel they need. In our case here, I’m trying to do the best I can to build around Matthew Stafford,” he said. “Try to help him out, obviously with the offensive line, get a little bit of a run game, play better defense. Try to do everything we can to have a complementary football team with him as our leader. I get really excited to coach him and I’m not changing.”

The Lions stuck with Stafford and it doesn’t look as if they are changing anytime soon given the reasons Patricia outlined.

Lions Marriage to Matthew Stafford Ranked

Recently, ESPN took a look at ranking how married teams were to their starting quarterback, ranking every squad in the league 1-32. When it came to Detroit, the Lions placed down the list at No. 27, meaning they aren’t all that married to Stafford according to Dan Graziano.

As Graziano said, that doesn’t mean Stafford is going anywhere right now with the team, simply that he might not be a complete fixture for the Lions moving forward as the years go by.

Graziano wrote:

“The Lions are paying Stafford $15 million this year and nothing is guaranteed after that. In fact, as of the restructure Stafford did in December, $7.2 million of that $15 million is now an option bonus tied to a 2023 option on his contract, and the Lions have until the day before their first game of the 2020 regular season to decide whether to exercise it. If they don’t exercise it, that $7.2 million gets added to his 2020 salary, so he gets the $15 million either way. And the 2023 year voids no matter what, so this is just a salary-cap manipulation move.

What’s odd about it is the date on the option bonus. Since the Lions don’t have to decide on it until the day before their season starts, they could trade Stafford before then, and the acquiring team would be the one paying the option bonus and the salary.

Let me be clear: I do not believe the Lions are planning to trade Stafford. They’ve said they aren’t, publicly and privately, and I believe he will be their quarterback in 2020. But this is simply an exercise in ranking contract flexibility. And the fact the Lions have three more months to pay that bonus moves Stafford down just a bit behind others in his tier. Even if he does play the entire 2020 season for them, the Lions can get out of his deal next offseason with a $19 million dead-money charge and no more guaranteed salary owed.”

Indeed, next season would seem to be the tipping point for plenty of things within the organization, namely whether or not Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia stick around. The pressure could be on Stafford to perform too in order to justify sticking around on a big contract into the future.

It doesn’t seem as if it will happen, but if the Lions decide, they could move on from Stafford pretty easily in the coming offseasons.

If they do, some see Rosen as the perfect addition.

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