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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sorry Lions fans, but it’s time to move on from Matthew Stafford

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Michael Whitaker
Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

NOTE: The views expressed in this EDITORIAL do not necessarily reflect the views of Detroit Sports Nation or a majority of its writers and should not be misconstrued as such. The views contained within are the views of the author and the author alone.

This certainly will be a polarizing view in the Motor City.

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The Detroit Lions experience with Matthew Stafford has run its course. We’ve gotten as much out of him as possible.

and it’s best for both parties to seek better options for one another.

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Since being drafted first overall by the Lions in 2009, Stafford has been the consummate professional and has done everything that’s been asked of him. He’s certainly been a “good soldier” of sorts, playing on Lions teams that have both had a chance to make some noise in the NFC North and who were out of the playoff running within a few weeks of their first game.

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However, he’s now 11 years into his career, and has won exactly zero playoff games, much less a single division title. He began the 2019 campaign with a 9-54 record against teams with a winning record. And, of course, he’s gone through broken bones in his back the past two seasons.

At this point, we know what he is, and there’s no indication that year 12 will somehow be the charm – especially given his health.

Right now, the Lions have the third overall draft selection in this year’s festivities, and could add a cost-controlled rookie contract at the position. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is thought to be a franchise-altering player, and there’s no better place the Hawaiian native would look better than wearing the Honolulu Blue.

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Now, cutting ties with Stafford would cost the Lions millions. He has three years remaining on his contract that pays him nearly $27 million annually. If he were to suit up this season for Detroit, it would cost $21.3 million against the salary cap. Additionally, the dead money on his contract would jump to $32 million.

Is it worth it for the team to take on that financial burden in order to turn the page on the Stafford era? Would any potential haul they could get in return in the form of draft picks make it worth it?

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They won’t find out unless they decide to bring in new blood at the quarterback position this April, and (once again) hit the reset button – and pray they actually get it right this time.

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