Don’t count former Lions star defensive end Cliff Avril among those who are in favor of that idea, though. Speaking with TMZ Sports, the retired pass rusher made it clear that he believes the Lions would be better off surrounding Matthew Stafford with talent than starting anew with Tagovailoa.
“If we don’t start winning some ball games, do I want to go off a young player who is coming out of college that has been injured or do I keep the veteran player that I have, and surround him with other great players?” Avril says. “I would do that personally. I would leave Stafford there and surround him with some good players.”
It’s worth pointing out that, before his season-ending injury in 2019, Stafford was on fire. Playing in eight games, he passed for 2,499 yards with 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
That being said, the Lions have never made it past the wild-card round with Stafford under center and have a lot of other needs. That’s why we recently advocated for the team to trade the veteran and take a quarterback at No. 3 overall.
Avril thinks that would be a mistake, however.
“I’ve played against him, I’ve been on his team, I’ve broken down film — the man can throw the ball,” Avril says of Stafford. “He can still put it out there. He can still play some football.”
Whatever the Lions do, they are in a key spot with the third overall pick. If the Bengals take Joe Burrow at No. 2 overall, and if Washington goes with Chase Young, then Detroit can rake in a huge haul if a quarterback-needy team trades up.