Analyst: Lions Turned Down Intriguing Matthew Stafford Trade Packages

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford walks off the field following a win against the Giants in 2019.

Matthew Stafford will be shipped away to the Los Angeles Rams when the new league year starts next month, but the path to the eventual deal for the Detroit Lions was certainly intriguing.

The Rams were far from the only team that were interested in dealing for Stafford. Interest came from plenty of places across the league including many out east. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated ran down the intriguing scenarios for the Lions, which included teams offering plenty of picks for 2021, but few actual offers that matched what the team actually received from the Rams.

Nearly everyone who needs a quarterback reached out to the Lions, but the sticking point it seems for Detroit was landing multiple first round picks as well as a player in Jared Goff that they believe in for the future.

Here’s Breer on what the potential big deals could have looked like:

“Both Washington and Carolina had offered their first-round picks and then some. The Panthers’ first-rounder is eighth (that wound up being the highest pick offered) and their proposal came with a later pick. Washington packaged a third-round pick with the 19th pick.

The Colts discussed packages of picks and players, but never actually wound up offering their first-rounder, the 21st pick.

The Niners talked to the Lions in Mobile, but at the time were a little lukewarm and never made an official offer. They’d planned to circle back with Detroit after the weekend, but when things escalated Saturday and the Lions called back, the price had gone beyond what they were willing to offer (in part because they’re fine going forward with Jimmy Garoppolo). My sense is the 12th pick was never going to be offered.

The Broncos discussed a pick swap with the Lions that would have equated to a late first-round pick, but it wound up becoming clear to Denver that they weren’t playing in the neighborhood where this was going.”

Breer added that the Jets, Bears and Patriots also checked in. Stafford preferred not to land in New England which combined with a lower-than-expected offer to eliminate the Patriots. Detroit was never likely to deal Stafford within the division, and the Jets interest never materialized enough to get serious with regards to a deal.

In the end, the Lions got what they wanted from the Rams, who felt they got what was needed from Detroit. It takes two to tango in deals, and the Lions found a good partnership in Los Angeles.

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Lions Agreed to Massive Matthew Stafford Trade With Rams

Saturday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Lions were trading Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff, two future first-round picks and a third-round pick. The third-round pick is a 2021 selection, while the first-round picks are for 2022 and 2023.

Stafford, reports indicated, had preferred to land in Los Angeles, so the move helps him out as well as Brad Holmes’ former team when it will become official in the new league year in March. For Detroit, the Lions get a young quarterback who is still in his prime as well as multiple first round picks, which can only help the Lions in their restructure.

Now that Stafford is in Los Angeles, he will get his ready-made contender and should be able to have a great chance at winning. Goff will join a young team that isn’t devoid of weaponry and could also be better than many think in 2021 though most consider the Lions to be in the midst of a rebuild. Goff was far from terrible in 2020 with 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air.

Lions Managed to Do Well With Matthew Stafford Trade

Fans and media members can say all they want about the trade’s merits either way, but any time a team can cash in with a couple of first-round picks no matter where they’re located, it’s a solid move. Adding Jared Goff adds a level of intrigue to the deal considering he could still have plenty of good years left and the Lions might view him as part of the solution in Detroit. Adding a third-round pick this season helps the Lions right now, and adds to their firepower early in the draft to find players who can help immediately.

Having an extra first-round pick this year would have helped, but the Lions did right by Stafford, who reportedly wanted to go to the Rams. To this end, everyone is likely happy with the deal on both sides, and that’s all that matters.

READ NEXT: Jared Goff Shares Bold Vision for Lions After Trade

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