When Matthew Stafford put his $6.5 million Bloomfield Township mansion up for sale this spring, it raised the antennas of football fans everywhere.
Tom Brady listed his Massachusetts mansion last fall and left the New England Patriots as a free agent a few months later, and Philip Rivers put his California home up for sale about the same time he and the Los Angeles Chargers made their offseason split official.
But Stafford, in his first media appearance since the day before he listed his house for sale in May, insisted Tuesday that his real estate dealings have no correlation with his desire to stay in Detroit.
“It has nothing to do with my tenure here or how long I’ve been here, how long I want to be here,” Stafford said. “I don’t know how many times I got to tell you guys I want to be here as long as I can. But it has nothing to do with that, I promise.”
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Stafford said he has not sold the home, which sits on 1.27 acres of lakefront property and includes a glass elevator and indoor half basketball court made of flooring the Detroit Pistons played on at the Pontiac Silverdome.
“I’m sure you guys would report it if I had (sold it),” he said. “Are you looking to make an offer?”
Kelly Stafford wrote in an Instagram post in May that the couple was selling their house to get away from the water.
The Staffords have four kids under age 4, including a newborn. They bought a house in California last year and own a home in Atlanta with a pool.
Entering his 12th NFL season, Stafford, the No. 1 pick of the 2009 NFL draft, is the most prolific passer in Lions history but has yet to lead the team to a playoff victory.
He was the subject of trade speculation early this offseason, though Lions general manager Bob Quinn quickly shot down the rumors.
Asked why they were moving, Stafford, who has two years left on his contract after this season, said it was a “family matter, that’s all.”
“I think Kelly put something out there,” he said. “You guys can just ride with that.”
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Read more on the Detroit Lions and sign up for our Lions newsletter.