Rams Exec Clears Air About Trade Rumblings Involving Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford on November6, 2022 in Tampa Bay.

It’s well known that the 2023 Los Angeles Rams have had a roster makeover, which includes dealing away past Pro Bowlers Allen Robinson and Jalen Ramsey. And the team allowed Bobby Wagner to walk away from his five-year deal he signed last offseason.

But was there any real thought of trading away Matthew Stafford? Even after making the aggressive deal to nab him in January 2021 before going on their Super Bowl run?

There have been reports from former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi on the March 9, 2023 edition of The Pat McAfee Show and later on July 17 via Colin Cowherd of FS1 that the Rams were shopping Stafford. However, Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff cleared the air there through an interview on The Athletic’s “11 Personnel” podcast.

“Those conversations frustrated me because I think it’s trying to inject narratives that aren’t there,” Demoff said to the Rams reporters. “I know there are reports that we tried to trade Matthew. We were not actively trying to trade Matthew.”

Demoff also mentioned how general manager Les Snead was another who denied the reports of the Rams attempting to deal Stafford.

“I know Les has rebuffed that before. It’s just not the case,” Demoff said. “I think if you wanted to be in the reality of the NFL, there are 10 teams this year, at least, that are going to have different quarterbacks. We were obviously aggressive in remaking our roster in March. It would be naive to think that people didn’t inquire about what was going to happen with the player who the year before won the Super Bowl. It’s different than whether people inquire, whether there are casual conversations.”

Demoff Reveals How Highly Rams Think of Stafford

Demoff’s next statement revealed how highly the Rams think of the passer who gave the franchise their second Vince Lombardi Trophy.

“He is a pillar, we value him highly,” he said of Stafford. “Now, again, if someone did come in offering a ridiculous trade package, I think you owe it to your organization to listen the same way you would anyone. I think Les said people called about nine players during the offseason. That’s grown probably since that time.”

Demoff later explained how if the Rams were really planning to “get out of Stafford’s deal” for 2023, they very easily could have. But that would’ve had to happen before $59 million of his contract became fully guaranteed in March. Still, the Rams — from Demoff, to Snead all the way to head coach Sean McVay — are all in on Stafford.

“We value Matthew highly. Sean made that clear to him in the offseason. Les did. I think everybody did,” Demoff said. “And look, when you hear the report, the part that frustrated me was this notion that we were trying to get away from the $59 million and that was the only way to do it through trade. That tells you that you didn’t have an understanding of the situation.”

Demoff Then Explains What was ‘Unguaranteed’ About Stafford’s Contract

Then, the Rams executive explained the part of Stafford’s deal on the “unguaranteed” side.

“Matthew’s dollars after 2022 were unguaranteed. We could’ve walked away this year, free and clear, for $0. No future money owed,” Demoff said. “So there was no need to restructure. If we wanted out of Matthew’s deal, we could’ve walked away.”

Again, Demoff denies any idea of a trade.

“We didn’t have to trade him to relieve the $58.5 million. We could’ve just walked away. To me, that’s where there’s a fundamental understanding of what his deal was that drives the narrative, ‘Oh, we were desperately trying to get rid of that.’”

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