We may have unprecedented quarterback movement this NFL offseason. Most years go by without the kind of trade that the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions are making, centered on veteran signal caller Matthew Stafford.
L.A. is sending Detroit a pair of future first round picks and a third round pick, as well as Jared Goff, whose onerous contract definitely drives up the amount they had to give the Lions here.
The trade was agreed to after Stafford requested it from Detroit, which hired a new head coach and general manager in recent weeks. In this situation, it wasn’t overly surprising that they team acquiesced. The team had really stalled out with Stafford under center, and welcomes a full rebuild. As for Stafford, while he tells the Detroit Free Press that he always envisioned winning big and retiring with the Lions, ahead of the 2020 season, he and his wife started discussing a move. It came down to one major factor: he wants to play in big games.
“I’ve always wanted to play in those big games, I feel like I will excel in those situations,” he told Mitch Albom. “I wanted to shoot my shot.”
“I never thought I would ever finish my career anywhere else.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 11, 2021
The Detroit Lions went just 5-11 this season, finishing at the bottom of the NFC North for the third straight year and fifth time in Matthew Stafford’s career with the team. He only made the playoffs three times, losing in the Wild Card each time.
“To be honest, Kelly and I probably started talking about it before last season. It was one of those things where, you know, we were hoping that, golly, let’s go, I hope this thing takes off and we play great. But if it doesn’t, you just knew what was going to happen. They were going to tear it down and rebuild.
“And anytime you switch GMs and a head coach, you know that they’re going to want to bring their own people in, and that’s going to take time. And I, frankly, didn’t feel like I was the appropriate person to oversee that time.”
Now, he steps onto a roster that is built to win now, and just a few years removed from a Super Bowl. This is what he asked for. The pressure will be on from day one.