NFL rumors started buzzing this offseason when Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions agreed to part ways. With the star quarterback seeking a trade, the San Francisco 49ers could already be emerging as Stafford’s home for the 2021 NFL season.
From the moment Stafford hit the trade market, teams immediately started calling the Lions. With the Houston Texans holding out hope of convincing Deshaun Watson to stay, even after his request to be moved, Stafford is the best available passer available this offseason.
While plenty of clubs have generated buzz as potential landing spots, it seems one is already jumping out as the likely winner to land Matthew Stafford.
NFL rumors: San Francisco 49ers likely to trade for Matthew Stafford?
Entering the 2021 offseason, San Francisco’s most pressing need is at quarterback. While Jimmy Garoppolo should be healthy next season and he played a role in the team reaching Super Bowl LIV, Kyle Shanahan and Co. are seeking an upgrade at the position.
While the 49ers could wait for the Texans to relent and finally engage in trade discussions for Watson, the organization likely wants to strike quickly. Plus, with a trade for Stafford expected to come at a much cheaper acquisition cost, there’s plenty of reason to believe he could be the team’s top target.
According to Pro Football Network’s Benjamin Allbright, there is significant buzz at the Senior Bowl regarding a Stafford trade to the 49ers. Just days after his trade request, the smoke around San Francisco acquiring the 32-year-old star quarterback is quickly building.
The 49ers have the resources to land Stafford. They are already under the projected 2021 NFL salary cap and would take on just a $20 million cap hit in 2021, followed by a $23 million cap hit the following season, by acquiring Detroit’s franchise quarterback.
San Francisco also boasts the draft capital to make the Lions a compelling offer. Given Detroit is rebuilding, with new head coach Dan Campbell signing a six-year contract, that’s precisely what the new front office wants in a Stafford trade. The 49ers could either offer the No. 12 overall pick, which is unlikely, or package multiple Day 2 picks.
Currently, general manager Lynch can package the No. 44 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, a 2022 second-round pick and a 2021 third-round pick. While San Francisco traded its original 2021 third-round selection for Trent Williams last offseason, the New York Jets’ hiring of Robert Saleh means the 49ers receive a 2021 and 2022 third-round selection due to the NFL’s new hiring rules regarding minority coaches.
For the Detroit Lions, the additional draft picks would go a long way in their rebuild. The organization could either package the No. 7 overall pick with multiple Day 2 selections to trade up for a quarterback or they can keep those selections and overhaul the roster.
There’s still a chance a team like the Indianapolis Colts or New England Patriots gets involved in trade discussions for Matthew Stafford. For now, the San Francisco 49ers are emerging as the favorite and that would dramatically shake-up next season.