For teams unwilling to part with multiple first-round draft picks, Matthew Stafford is a strong consolation prize under center.
The Detroit Lions are ready to begin a full-blown rebuilding project in 2021, and that means Matthew Stafford will leave the only team he has known since being the first overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He could be traded before the Super Bowl. Stafford cleared 4,000 passing yards for the eighth time in his career and for the first time since 2017. He can absolutely help his new team put major points on the board.
But who are the favorites to trade for Stafford?
Let’s rank the top four.
4. New England Patriots
Cam Newton looks like a one-and-done with the New England Patriots, as ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss put his chances of remaining in Foxboro at 25 percent. The former Carolina Panther threw more interceptions than touchdowns and averaged a mere 7.2 yards per pass attempt.
Compare those numbers to Stafford. He averaged 7.7 yards per attempt with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. While those numbers are far from elite, especially in this era of the NFL, Stafford would be an upgrade for the Patriots. And if Bill Belichick believes in his defense, which finished seventh in points allowed, then he might be willing to send the Lions a package deal for a different veteran signal-caller.
The problem is that New England’s issues go beyond the quarterback position. They have one of the least impressive wide receiver groups in the NFL, as Jakobi Meyers was the team’s leading receiver last season with 59 receptions for 724 yards. Belichick has some decent pieces on offense, but it may be better for New England to take the same route as Detroit and truly rebuild.