This offseason figures to have a ton of quarterback movement. With the Chargers publicly parting ways with Philip Rivers, Patriots legend Tom Brady being connected to the Raiders, and Andy Dalton moving to the trade block, it feels as though no one’s safe. And that includes face-of-the-franchise types such as Matthew Stafford, whom Bill Smilovitz reports has been involved with trade talks surrounding the quarterbacks “for a couple of weeks.”
And yet, Lions GM Bob Quinn has come out to publicly refute those rumors: In a text message to the Detroit Free Press, Quinn wrote the rumors were “100% false!!”
If you happen to be a novice when it comes to deciphering text messages, the use of double exclamation points would hint at Quinn being very serious about refuting these rumors. And certainly, getting rid of Stafford now doesn’t make much sense.
Moving him off the roster by trade or via cut would lead the Lions to eat upward of $30 million in dead money on his contract. If that isn’t enough, the top of Detroit’s chain of command is only months removed from handing down a “win now” edict for the 2020 squad. I imagine trading Stafford would fly in the face of the concept of “winning now” for a general manager and head coach who are on the hot seat.
Stafford is the second longest-tenured quarterback in the NFC North. Only Aaron Rodgers has been at the helm of a rival longer than Stafford, who owns a whole bunch of Lions quarterbacking records and has led the team to the postseason three times since debuting in 2009. Through that lens, it is tough to imagine Detroit dealing him out of town. For better or worse, Stafford is synonymous with Lions football. So perhaps that is why Quinn was quick to try to knock those rumors down.