Tis the season of NFL teams negotiating and attempting to create their own narratives through the media.
With the NFL Scouting Combine underway in Indianapolis, that includes general managers around the league taking part in press conferences.
Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn bucked that trend to an extent on Tuesday, noting that they are already in talks with other teams to trade Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay.
With rumors persisting that the rebuilding Lions could move franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, Quinn also pushed back against that idea in a big way.
“In terms of the whole rumor on Stafford, I think I texted a lot of people here that it’s, like, 100% false,” Quinn said, via Kyle Meinke of MLive. “If I have to add a third exclamation point, I will.”
That’s the strongest wording a general manager could use in a case like this.
Quinn also noted that he contacted Stafford personally to tell the Pro Bowler that he’s not being dealt.
“When the story came out, I called Matthew and I said, ‘Listen, I haven’t had one conversation. I’m not trying — we’re not trading you, period,’” Quinn said.
Stafford’s wife made waves earlier in the month with a social media post linking him to the Los Angeles Chargers after the initial rumors broke.
Even with Detroit a few tiers behind playoff contenders in the NFC, it makes no real sense for the team to trade Stafford.
Prior to missing half of last season with a back injury, Stafford averaged north of 4,200 yards with 27 touchdowns and 11 interceptions over the past four years. He’s not the problem.