The Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams pulled off a major trade in late January, sending veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford to Hollywood in exchange for Jared Goff and a bevy of draft capital.
Stafford is now preparing for his first season outside of the Motor City on the west coast – but could he have landed with a different California team? According to San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, there was interest in bringing Stafford to the Bay Area rather than Hollywood.
Shanahan and Rams head coach Sean McVay both appeared on The Flying Coach Podcast, where the 49ers head coach admitted to being frustrated that his team couldn't acquire the former Lions QB.
“You don't want to get me started, dude,” Shanahan said, via NFL.com. “That was frustrating. I was in Cabo. I was studying it all. … I remember looking through it because everybody was telling me it was a possibility. Stafford's the man. I studied him hard coming out of college, and you always play against him, so you know how good he is. But to know he might be available and to spend two weeks really watching him, Sean, yeah, he's better than I realized. He was the man. He's actually underrated to me. I know how good of a guy you got. I know how good he is at play-action. I know how smart he is. Not only does he just have a big arm, but he's got touch, he knows where to go with the ball. So I was trying to get involved in it.”
Of course, the 49ers didn't submit an official offer for Stafford and soon got their QB in the form of Trey Lance with the 3rd overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. But the thought of Stafford in a San Francisco uniform was enticing.
“.. I remember Saturday I was so stressed out and finally we talked to someone, it was seven at night, and they're like, ‘No, nothing's happening (with a trade) at the earliest until tomorrow, so you can finish your night.' So I'm like, alright, I'm done. I put my phone down, talk to Mandy. I'm like, alright, ‘Let's go out to dinner, let's have some drinks.' Half an hour later, my buddy calls me and is like, ‘I'm just telling ya, if you want Stafford, you need to get a hold of him right now.' I'm like, ‘What do you mean? We just talked to people. I can sleep on this. We'll talk to them tomorrow.' ‘I'm just telling you, you need to talk to him right now.' And then it was all over.”
– – Quotes via CBS Sports Link – –