Kelly Stafford posts ode to Michigan as husband Matthew, Lions part ways

Detroit News

Ariana Taylor
| The Detroit News

Days after her husband and the Detroit Lions agreed to part ways, Kelly Stafford gave the team’s fandom an emotional thank you on social media. 

Stafford said tears come “very often” when she thinks about not being in Michigan in her Monday morning post. 

“Thank you. This place, our home, the people… it’s hard to find the words to explain what this place means to me… This place supported me during the toughest time of my life and during the happiest times and I want to thank y’all in the right way,” Kelly wrote on Instagram. 

Stafford also mentioned fans could expect to hear from her again once she figures out what the future holds for her and the 12-year-veteran that broke nearly every passing mark in franchise history.

“Whenever I figure out what the future holds, you’ll be hearing from me again with a thank you that hopefully shows how much gratitude and love I have for this place,” she said. “But until then we are going to enjoy our time left in Michigan to the fullest because there really is no other place like it.”

Michiganians of the Year: Matthew and Kelly Stafford — Helping people off the field

After months of speculation, Stafford and the Lions have agreed to mutually parts ways and the Lions will now begin fielding trade offers. 

The Lions have immediately began fielding trade offers for Stafford, with several teams being among likely suitors including the Colts, 49ers, Saints and Patriots. 

The impending trade was a mutual agreement between the team and Stafford. 

According to a source with knowledge of the conversations, Stafford initially proposed the break with team ownership shortly after the season, but the conversation was temporarily tabled while the team searched for its new general manager and head coach. 

As the Lions zeroed in on finalist for those leadership positions, both Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell were informed of Stafford’s request. After the hires were made, Stafford spoke to both Holmes and Campbell and the decision was made to move forward with a trade. 

While a deal now appears likely, there remains a possibility Stafford sticks in Detroit if the team does not get “fair market value,” according to the source. 

Stafford, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft,  has been rapidly climbing the league’s all-time charts in passing yards, completions and touchdowns.

Stafford carries a $33 million cap hit in 2021, but the Lions will shave approximately $14 million off the cap, whether they trade or release him.

While her husband deleted his social media accounts years ago, Kelly Stafford has always been outspoken and offered up glimpses of their family’s private life, including posting photos of the couple’s four young daughters. 

However, Stafford hasn’t always been complimentary of the state. 

Back in November, she posted — and later apologized for — calling Michigan a “dictatorship” in response to restrictions announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to try to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

Stafford has also spent time recovering from brain surgery.

In April 2019, she had a 12-hour surgical procedure in April to remove a benign brain tumor called acoustic neuroma. It took months for her to recover

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