There’s a good chance that a Matthew Stafford trade will be the first domino to drop as the longtime Detroit Lions quarterback looks to move on from his current team. It will be the first domino of many with rumors flying around about top-end signal callers being moved during the NFL offseason.
We’ve already heard the reports from Detroit. Even after the Lions brought in new head coach Dan Campbell, Stafford made it known behind the scenes that he wants out. New Lions general manager Brad Holmes will grant that demand.
Now comes this piece of information from ESPN’s Adam Schefter indicating that the ball is already moving on this front.
Teams reportedly calling the Detroit Lions about a Matthew Stafford trade
“Teams already are reaching out to the Detroit Lions to initiate trade talks and figure out what it would take to acquire QB Matthew Stafford,” Schefter reported.
Technically, a trade can’t be finalized until March when the new NFL league year opens. In no way does that mean a blockbuster deal can’t be reported before then. It back back in January of 2018 that the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a “reported” deal that sent Alex Smith to Washington.
Read More: 4 likeliest Matthew Stafford trade scenarios
With Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on the block and others such as Carson Wentz (Eagles) and Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers) potentially set to be dealt this offseason, a Matthew Stafford trade would get the ball rolling big time.
Previous reports suggest that the Lions are demanding at least a first-round pick in exchange for the 32-year-old former first-round pick. We’re not 100% sure how realistic that is given that a potential trade is already being talked about.
It’s more realistic that Detroit will land a second-round pick in 2021 and another second-round pick in 2022 in exchange for the former Pro Bowl signal caller.
Read More: Ranking the top-10 NFL quarterbacks who could change teams during NFL free agency
Stafford is coming off a 2020 season that saw him complete 64.2% of his passes for 4,084 yards with 26 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. It was another banner season for the Georgia product despite Detroit’s team-wide struggles. An argument can be made that he’s still a top-12 quarterback in the NFL today.
Who will be in on a Matthew Stafford trade?
We’re already hearing that the Indianapolis Colts are betting favorites to land Stafford following the retirement of Philip Rivers. It’s not yet known whether that’s mere talk or not.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers are looking to upgrade from Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason. They, too, have been linked to a Matthew Stafford trade. That makes sense given the 49ers’ status as a championship contender moving forward despite an injury-plagued six-win 2020 campaign.
Read More: 49ers quarterback: Top 5 options for 2021 NFL season
In reality, there’s not going to be a small market for Stafford’s services. The New England Patriots will be looking for a quarterback now that it’s known Cam Newton is going to be one-and-done with the organization.
The Dallas Cowboys could get in on the action should they part ways with Dak Prescott. Heck, the Chicago Bears and Las Vegas Raiders are two other mid-tier contenders who could show interest in the veteran signal caller.
As of right now, it’s all rumors. The good news is that it seems like that ball is already rolling. Could something happen here soon? We wouldn’t discount that possibility.