Let me begin by making something very clear. 1) I believe Matthew Stafford will be the starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions in 2021 and 2) I believe he should be.
That, of course, will ruffle the feathers of all of the Stafford haters out there but it’s my opinion and I will keep Stafford as my starting QB and address a different position in the draft rather than rolling the dice on a QB who may or may not pan out.
That being said, IF the Lions were offered an offer they cannot refuse for Stafford, the smart move would be to take it.
According to Albert Breer, of Sports Illustrated, a couple of teams who could be fits for Stafford are the New England Patriots and the Washington Football Team.
From Sports Illustrated:
I love the idea of another team pursuing Stafford in an Alex Smith–in-2013 kind of way. Granted, Smith was a little younger (Smith was 29 on Opening Day 2013, Stafford will be 33 at the start of next year). But Stafford can absolutely be the sort of ultra-placeholder that Smith was—a quarterback you can win with, and build with, while casually keeping the door open for getting aggressive at some point to draft one you truly love.
With Smith as starter, the Chiefs made the playoffs in four of five years, and they spent their draft capital wisely in building up the roster. Then Andy Reid, John Dorsey, Brett Veach and the rest of them found a guy they loved—Texas Tech phenom Patrick Mahomes—and bundled a bunch of picks to jump 17 spots in the first round and get him. And allowing things to play out like that (even without the benefit of hindsight, in knowing what Mahomes is now) was brilliant for a few reasons.
One, it allowed for the roster to be built up to the point where picks could be viewed as disposable assets. In other words, because Reid and Dorsey had built it up for five years, there weren’t a slew of pressing needs that would be harder to address with the picks going out the door. Two, it ensured Mahomes was entering a healthy situation. K.C. had the leeway to sit him for a year, and then the infrastructure to support him when he did play. And three, Smith gave the Chiefs the freedom to wait for something truly special to surface.
That’s why I think a team like New England, which has a lot of problems to fix, would do well to get Stafford. It’s also why I could see Stafford being attractive to a team like Washington, which now has a nice foundation to build off of and might not be picking high enough to get a QB it’s truly smitten with. And, to me, it’s enough reason to make keeping Stafford an attractive option for whoever winds up getting the Detroit job.
Nation, where do you think Stafford will play in 2021?