In an agreement, the two sides discussed the quarterback and mutually agreed Matthew Stafford Detroit is not expected to return to the Lions this off-season as Detroit hears trade offers starting this week, league sources told ESPN on Saturday.
With new general manager Brad Holmes and new head coach Dan Campbell, the Lions will soon start trade talks that will most likely result in a new quarterback for the team – largely influenced by what and who Detroit will get in exchange for Stafford, sources shared ESPN with.
Lions are expected to receive at least one selection for the first round, league sources said.
Stafford reached out to the Lions to discuss the possibility of a trade in the best interests of both parties. However, the franchise filed that discussion by the time the coach and GM search was complete, a source shared with ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.
Holmes and Campbell were told before they were hired that trading with Stafford might be an option, sources told ESPN. Stafford had a call to higher-level companies – including Campbell and Holmes – late this week and then the decision was made to go into a trade, a source told Rothstein.
Stafford, who has not yet won a playoff win with the Lions in his twelve seasons, is expected to make a nice return for several reasons. He turns 33 in March, has two years left on a team-friendly contract that grosses him $ 43 million – $ 20 million this year and $ 23 million next year – and he always is still one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league.
He has started 165 games for the Lions since he was voted # 1 overall in the 2009 draft, and completed 62.6% of his passes for 45,109 yards, 282 touchdowns and 144 interceptions. During his career, he led 38 wins and 31 comebacks in the fourth quarter – making him one of the better comeback quarterbacks in league history.
He ranks eighth all-time in the winning runs and seventh in the comeback in the fourth quarter.
Stafford is the latest in a long line of quarterbacks expected to be available this off-season.
Carolina will be investigating his options at the position and there are still questions about quarterback teams with teams like Denver and San Francisco.
The free agent class is said to contain quarterbacks Dak Prescott, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Mitchell Trubisky, Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jacoby Brissett, Colt McCoy and Nate Sudfeld.
Hailing from Texas, Stafford might be interested in home-trading, but significant interest is expected in Detroit’s longtime quarterback, sources told ESPN.
What Detroit can get back will help define the direction in which the franchise seeks to replace Stafford.
The two sides are expected to part ways on good terms, with both sides realizing that it is best to go in a different direction, sources told ESPN.
Stafford spent 12 seasons with the Lions and failed to win a playoff game in three trips. He joined a list on which Jim Hart, Kenny Anderson and Archie Manning were the only quarterbacks to spend 10 seasons in a city without a playoff win.