On Saturday, Matthew Stafford was traded (or at least he will be when the new league year begins) to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and a trio of draft picks.
There have been numerous reports that upwards of 7 or 8 teams (depending on who you ask) had offers on the table but according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, there was a pretty clear runner-up to land Stafford. In fact, Breer is reporting that the Carolina Panthers were actually in the process of obtaining Stafford’s medical records from the Lions.
So who finished second in the Matthew Stafford derby? I’m told the Panthers, at one point on Saturday, were to the point where they were in the process of obtaining Stafford’s medicals from Detroit. Obviously, things changed from there, with the Rams’ persistence and aggression winning the day. But if you figured the Panthers’ haul for Stafford was strong—the eighth pick, plus another pick—then I’d say the sellers in this equation would agree with you, because they almost took it.
One other thing that I think is important to mention on the Stafford deal is that the Lions really did want to walk away with a quarterback. My understanding is Lions coach Dan Campbell wanted, at the very least, a guy he could see as a starter for the next couple years. So yeah, moving Goff’s contract was a big part of the deal for the Rams—but it also gives the Lions something that their new head coach very clearly wanted, and might well have asked for as part of any of these potential deals.
On Monday, Breer reported that the Panthers were willing to give up the No. 8 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft along with another pick but the Lions instead went with the Rams offer.
There are also reports that it was Stafford that nixed the deal to the Panthers.