The quarterback carousel will be full swing this offseason, but among the signal-callers who’ve demanded trades from their teams, ESPN insider Adam Schefter believes Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions will be the first to be dealt.
In an interview with Rich Salgado on Big Daddy & Friends, Schefter explained to Sportsnaut why he views Stafford as the most likely to move first, before Houston Texans superstar Deshaun Watson or anyone else.
Adam Schefter: Matthew Stafford will be 1st QB domino to fall in 2021 NFL offseason
When asked who the first franchise quarterback, Schefter opined that because there’s already open communication between the Lions and potential trade suitors, along with mutual interest from both parties to move on, Stafford is going to be finding his new team before any other prominent player at the position.
“It’s out there, he wants to move on, they want to move on…teams are calling and talks are underway,” Schefter said. “The Lions are actively listening and shopping him, so Stafford’s going to be the first one.”
While the latest news about Watson — reported by Schefter — suggests he’s going to ultimately force his way out of Houston, Schefter suggested the Texans are still nevertheless going to do everything they can to change the young QB’s mind about leaving.
“They think they can get [Watson] back,” Schefter said of the Texans’ thinking. “I don’t think he thinks that. So you have to see where that goes.”
Why Adam Schefter will likely be correct on Matthew Stafford trade forecast
The big difference between the two teams is Stafford is much later in his career, and isn’t ready to undergo yet another rebuild. Watson was only drafted in 2017 and already has a lucrative contract extension under his belt, so it’s much more difficult for the Texans to move on from him from a financial and long-term playing standpoint.
Given the complications around Watson in Houston, Philadelphia hiring Nick Sirianni as its new head coach to help revive Carson Wentz‘s career and Jimmy Garoppolo‘s strong starting record in San Francisco, it makes sense that Stafford would be the first to move on among the main QB trade candidates.
As for where Stafford could end up, the Indianapolis Colts seem like the most viable spot. They’re coming off a postseason appearance, have a hole at the position following Philip Rivers’ retirement and by landing a dynamic talent like Stafford, would likely emerge as the favorite in the AFC South division in 2021.