Don’t send me to the New England Patriots.
Stafford was on the block for over the last week, and as talks intensified, the assumption was the Patriots would be a major player for Stafford when all was said and done. They needed a new quarterback, and a veteran like Stafford could have fit the bill nicely. Apparently, though, Stafford had no intentions of ever going to the Patriots, telling the Lions as much during talks.
According to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, sources told him that Stafford had no interest in coming to New England. He wrote:
“And now, for a localized aftershock: Stafford told the Lions they could send him anywhere but New England.
This comes from a source whose team was heavily involved in Stafford trade negotiations but failed to land him. Stafford, of course, is a Ram after Los Angeles sent a huge haul to Detroit for the one-time Pro Bowler.
With a load of cap space and a yawning void at the position, the Patriots figured to be frontrunners for Stafford along with teams like the Colts.
But Stafford apparently nixed the notion of being the guy that replaces the guy that failed to replace THE GUY.”
Replacing Brady, who departed last offseason, could be very unappealing for any quarterback. It’s likely that Stafford took this into consideration, knowing full well that there was nothing he could do short of winning multiple Super Bowls with a rebuilding team to create his own legacy. It certainly also looks as if the Patriots are heading towards that type of rebuild coming up soon.
For one reason or another, Stafford wanted no part in such things with the Patriots.
Matt Patricia and Matthew Stafford Could Have Had Poor Relationship
The reason Stafford was perhaps not thrilled about going to the Patriots? It could have been none other than Matt Patricia. Recently, the Patriots hired Patricia back to work within the organization. It could be no coincidence that Patricia’s emergence back in New England could have plenty to do with these reports. Stafford and Patricia had a rocky relationship according to certain reports, and many Lions players did not get along with Patricia when the coach was in Detroit.
Matt Patricia’s Lions Tenure
Patricia came to the Lions fresh off success in New England in 2018, and struggled out of the gate to capture the attention of the locker room. Those struggles never subsided in 2019 or 2020, and the coach was run out of town in embarrassing fashion after a total fail with the team.
Early in his career in Detroit, Patricia has helped the Lions stay in games for the most part but never helped get the team over the hump at closing. That’s perhaps his biggest wart so far as a boss, combined with a lousy defense that has not picked up the program whatsoever. Patricia’s program was defined by disorder within the team, a fact that frustrated many fans as well as the organization.
Both Patricia and Quinn got a mulligan on 2019 considering the rash of injuries that set the team back, and 2020 always seemed to be the make or break year. Things broke. The duo was fired in November, with Patricia maintaining an ugly 13-29-1 mark with the Lions over three failed seasons.
The locker room fell apart in Detroit, and that could have played a huge role in the Patriots missing out on Stafford when all is said and done.
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