The offseason is usually filled with rumors for trades, cuts, and signings of players. Long time Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is rumored to be on the trade block.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn was quick to shut the rumors down. In an article by the Detroit Free Press, Quinn told reporter Dave Birkett in a text message that the trade rumors are “100% false!!”.
Rumors started by WDIV-TV in Detroit Wednesday night reporting that talks have been going on for “a couple of weeks”. The rumors are occurring due to the injury he sustained last year that knocked him out for a good part of the season. Added to the fact that he hasn’t had much playoff success and he is in his 30’s.
Should the Lions trade Stafford?
It does present an interesting question as Stafford has had a lot of success in the NFL in terms of statistics. Stafford has thrown for over 41,000 yards with 256 touchdowns in 11 seasons. Great numbers, but only has three playoff appearances (all losses) and he’s been to the Pro Bowl once.
The issue might come with his contract. His salary cap hit is going to be $21.3 million. That number is not bad compared to other NFL quarterbacks. The problem is if the Lions trade Stafford, his cap hit with accelerated bonuses would leave $32 million in dead cap space. A lot of money for a team that needs it to build their roster.
The Lions could decide to draft a young quarterback to develop behind Stafford for a short time. That would give the Lions flexibility to move Stafford without taking a big hit in their salary cap. Stafford would be used to develop the backup quarterback and help build for the future.
It’s too early to make a move at quarterback as Stafford was having a pretty good season before getting hurt. He’s only 32 and still playing at a high level. The Lions need to help their quarterback out with talent on offense. They have key pieces there with Kenny Golladay and Kerryon Johnson. More will be needed if they want to make the leap to the playoffs. Stafford can be the guy to take them to the playoffs, but the door is slowly closing on him.