NFL Insider: ‘Hard Time’ Imagining Lions Make Blockbuster Trade

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford during a Lions game.

One of the biggest questions set to play out this offseason for the Detroit Lions is what happens with the future of quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Depending on who is spoken to, the Lions either need to move on from Stafford or they need to keep the quarterback and build around him thanks to the talent he has. Rarely is there an opinion in the middle. But what could actually happen when the rubber meets the road this offseason?

According to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport, the answer is not much. Joining the Dan Patrick Show, Rapoport was asked about the potential for a big move at quarterback this offseason with either Stafford or Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. Instead of predicting a huge trade playing out in either city as has been rumored, Rapoport simply said he doesn’t see the Lions moving on from Stafford this offseason.

The reason for Stafford perhaps not moving on? It has everything to do with who’s available according to Rapoport. Many trades get consummated in March, and the Lions may not know who will be available for them with the seventh pick in April during the draft. That uncertainty could lead them to simply hold on to a known commodity in Stafford when all is said and done according to Rapoport.

Why Matthew Stafford’s Future in Question

The future of Stafford will become a big talking point for the Lions in the weeks and months ahead given the changes within the front office and at head coach. Why? A team could prefer their own quarterback to build around for the future. The past regime, led by Bob Quinn, remained loyal to Stafford but the shakeup could leave his future firmly up in the air. That’s especially true given the fact that ownership has essentially deferred the decision to the new staff once they come to town. That was only proven more true with this report.

During the 2020 season, Stafford didn’t have the type of statistical season that will wow many folks. He threw 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with 4,084 passing yards. He’s had good games and average games, but has shown the toughness that has come to define his tenure, especially late in the season when he played through pain in order to lead the Lions through the tough stretch. There’s a thought in the mind of some that the Lions could need to cut bait and move on with a new quarterback, but Stafford still has plenty of the goods to be a success.

What Happens if Matthew Stafford Stays With Lions?

Obviously, there’s a long way to go this offseason on what plays out. The team’s next general manager and head coach will be making the call on Stafford, but if he sticks around, the Lions could look to prioritize major defensive upgrades in the draft and free agency while also potentially getting Stafford another impact player for the offense, especially at wide receiver. The Lions have rebuilt their offensive line recently, and that news is good as it comes to the future

If Stafford indeed stays, depending on the front office, coach and the defensive upgrades, the Lions could be an improved team next season. Obviously, there’s plenty to watch on that front in the months ahead, but early on, the team may not be as keen to moving Stafford as some suggest.

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