The Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford is going to be traded in the next couple of months, and the New England Patriots are expected to be one of his suitors. NBC Sports’ Peter King even identified the potential trade offer from the Patriots to swing the deal.
However, a few days before news broke about Stafford and the Lions’ impending separation, the Patriots added someone to their coaching staff who might be a deterrent for the former No. 1 overall pick.
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Does Addition of Patricia Subtract Stafford From the List?
The Lions fired Matt Patricia and their general manager Bob Quinn at the end of November. The pair combined for a 13-29-1 record and Detroit elected to go in a different direction hiring Brad Holmes as the new GM and Dan Campbell as the next head coach.
Patricia was the Patriots’ former defensive coordinator. His work in that role springboarded him into the head-coaching job in Detroit. As has happened in the past with Bill Belichick’s disciples who have failed in their attempts to be a head coach, Patricia returned to New England’s coaching staff.
According to Patriots.com, Patricia rejoins the Patriots’ staff with “a variety of roles.”
Stafford and Patricia’s relationship was reportedly less-than-spectacular in Detroit. Former Lions center Dominic Raiola said the combination of Quinn and Patricia “sped up” the one-time Pro-Bowler’s desire to leave Motown.
When you consider that, it’s easy to wonder why Stafford would want to follow his former head coach to New England.
Patricia’s New Role
It should be noted, it’s highly unlikely Patricia will have much to do with what the Patriots do on offense in 2021. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who interviewed for, but didn’t get the Philadelphia Eagles’ head-coaching job, will be back in his OC role. He’ll man that post and may even have the task of Quarterback’s Coach in case the Patriots don’t replace Jedd Fisch, who left to become the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats.
It’s a dual-role McDaniels has had before. ESPN’s Mike Reiss doesn’t believe it will be a factor.
In any case, Patricia’s presence might be more of a non-factor, but quite honestly, it can’t be positive. Stafford may just want a completely fresh start that is free from any reminders of his experiences with the Lions organization.
Do the Patriots Have the Best Potential Offer?
The other and perhaps main factor to consider is the strength of the trade offer. According to King, the Patriots will offer the No. 15 pick in the draft. New England could also toss in other draft assets to sweeten the pot. As far as where that offer stands in comparison to other teams that might also be interested in Stafford, we don’t know for sure.
However, it might simply come down to where Stafford is comfortable going, and all things considered, it would be difficult to imagine the Patriots are at the top of his list.
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