Would the Lions give up on Stafford and perhaps move on in the form of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott? Recently, Football Perspective wrote on the possibility, and had Detroit listed as a potential destination for the quarterback, albeit a more unlikely one.
Out of 32 teams in the league, the site ranked squads in order of their potential interest in Prescott. The Lions placed in 17th position, in the “unlikely, but possible with a bad 2020” category. They were the last of any team who was rated to potentially have future interest. The top team? Detroit’s division rivals in Chicago.
I count up to 17 new potential destinations for Dak Prescott in 2021. I've grouped all 32 teams into tiers based on how likely they are to be a suitor for Prescott. pic.twitter.com/Kjb6ae75ev
— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) July 16, 2020
Detroit has Stafford in the fold and have committed to him, and the only situation in which that could fall apart is a season where the Lions struggle once again on the field leading to bigger changes elsewhere. In that scenario, however, it’s tough to imagine the team settling on Prescott, a player who’s had his own problems winning big games. Should the Lions move on from Stafford, they’d be more likely to draft a player high and start over at the position rather than try and find a veteran to build around.
Prscott, 26, has a decent NFL stat line to his credit with 15,778 passing yards 97 touchdowns and is a 2 time Pro Bowler. Still, many wonder if he will ever become a truly elite quarterback. To many Lions fans, that comparison will sound eerily familiar.
At this point, it’s wiser to bet on the Lions trying to make things work with Stafford moving forward.
Matthew Stafford Called Elite Quarterback
Whether or not Lions fans believe in him completely, Stafford is clearly valued by folks in the NFL community in a big way. Recently, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com revealed a list of his top 5 quarterbacks who are transcendent in the league right now. Stafford was included, and was included amongst some true luminaries right now at the position.
Top 5 Transcendent QB Talents
1. Patrick Mahomes, KC
2. Russell Wilson, Seattle
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
4. DeShaun Watson, Houston
5. Matt Stafford, Detroit
— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) April 4, 2020
It’s likely to be controversial for many that Stafford is on the list given his lack of big success in the NFL in terms of wins and losses at this point, but there is little doubting the fact that Stafford has some major talent to rely on at this point. He’s got a great arm and all the tools to dominate.
The hope is Stafford’s talent shines through and he starts to win bigger on the big stage in the future. For now, though, he still makes the cut in terms of elite players at his position in the mind of Brooks and likely plenty of others.
Matthew Stafford Named Potential 2020 NFL MVP by ESPN
That back injury ended up costing Stafford the rest of the 2019 season, but now that he has presumably healed up, the sky could be the limit for the quarterback during the 2020 season. In fact, some already see Stafford as being in the mix for a major award for his play during next season.
ESPN recently put together an Insider piece predicting some outcomes for the 2020 season. When it came to league MVP, there were scant votes for Stafford, but one insider was bold enough to say he thinks the Detroit quarterback could be the league MVP.
In a piece by MLive.com’s Benjamin Raven, the thoughts of ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler from the piece are presented. Here’s a look at what was written by Raven that Fowler shared in the piece:
“The Lions quarterback was playing some of the best ball of his career before going down with fractured bones in his back, though, and his level of play was reason enough for one ESPN analyst to pencil him in as the 2020 NFL MVP.
“Mahomes is still the game’s best player, but Stafford was playing really good football before his midseason back issues,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes (ESPN Insider). “If he leads Detroit to contention, which isn’t so farfetched considering the talent around him, he’ll be in the MVP mix because he puts up numbers and the NFC North is as open as Kenny Golladay.”
The Lions were arguably getting MVP level play out of Stafford before he got hurt, and the numbers proved that he was acclimating just fine to Darrell Bevell’s new offense in Detroit. Last season, Stafford was cruising along to the tune of 19 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and 2,499 yards. Clearly, he was the most valuable player for the Lions considering what happened to the team when he went down.
The hope is that next season, Stafford can put together just as elite of a year and dominate on the field in similar fashion. If he doesn’t, all bets are off as to what could happen with regards to his future, even if this scenario doesn’t play out.