As soon as the news broke that Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions are parting ways, the NFL world exploded into a frenzy of potential trade speculation.
According to former league executive and current writer for
“The Patriots have cap space, count them in on Matthew Stafford.
I think it’s a 3 team race. (Colts, Patriots, Broncos)”
— Cupid Brycen 💘 (@BradyyNFL) January 25, 2021
">The Athletic, Michael Lombardi, the race for Stafford will come down to three teams. His newest edition? The New England Patriots.
“The Patriots have cap space, count them in on Matthew Stafford," Lombardi said on The Daily Coach podcast. "I think it’s a 3 team race (Colts, Patriots, Broncos).”
With a surplus of cap space and an uncharacteristically high draft pick this year, New England certainly has the capital to acquire a player like Stafford. Also, the draw of a well-coached organization like the Patriots will always be a plus to potential QB suitors.
But, the Patriots have a common issue with Detroit that Stafford is likely looking to avoid. The team has no clear No. 1 receiver and they don't look to be too concerned with that heading into the offseason. Now, with the struggles of former star Cam Newton and the rise of Buffalo and Miami in the AFC East -- Stafford may be scared off from the once-great opportunity to play in New England.
Denver is another option on Lombardi's list. With head coach Vic Fangio heading into a win-or-die third season, the organization may look to Stafford as an immediate fix to a developing Drew Lock quarterback situation.
Just like New England though, there are some definite deterrents for Stafford heading to the Broncos. As a team looking for a rebuild after a 5-11 season, Denver shares some concerning similarities with the Lions. This would largely be a lateral move for the veteran QB.
Easily the best option on this three-team list is a move to Indianapolis. Unlike these other two teams, the Colts are a winning-ready team stocked with offensive weapons and a solid offensive line. With the QB1 spot recently opening up due to Philip Rivers' retirement, this arrangement provides significant benefit to both parties.
The Colts get a new veteran quarterback -- and Stafford gets a winning environment.