The Detroit Lions have a decision to make regarding their future. They have their new GM and head coach in place. Brad Holmes comes over from Los Angeles to take control of their front office while Dan Campbell heads up from New Orleans to coach the team. The first order of business for the two men is to decide what they’re going to do with Matthew Stafford.
This is the second regime change the longtime quarterback has endured in his long career with Detroit. To date, he’s only made the playoffs three times and failed to win a playoff game. Not all of this is his fault. Stafford hasn’t been the problem with the Lions. It seems he knows that too and now the prospect of another rebuild isn’t appealing to the 32-year old. Former quarterback Boomer Esiason said as much on CBS Sports Radio.
“He wants out, from what I hear.”
It’s not hard to see why Stafford would be indifferent to the Lions’ moves.
Holmes comes from an organization that’s recent claim to fame is getting humiliated in the Super Bowl 13-3. Campbell? He’s been a tight ends coach his entire NFL career. He’s never coached on a team that won a championship. Why should the quarterback believe he has what it takes to get this team where it needs to go? After all he’s been through since arriving in 2009, one can understand Stafford being frustrated and interested in a change of scenery.
That would leave Detroit with a decision. Do they try to sell their franchise centerpiece that they can rebuild the roster quickly enough to get him a shot at a Super Bowl? Or do they trade him why he still has some significant value and wipe the slate clean?
Detroit Lions moving Stafford would impact the Bears
First of all, let’s get the obvious question out of the way. Would Detroit consider trading Stafford to Chicago? While anything is possible, the overwhelming likelihood is no. It’s never a smart business or football decision to trade a Pro Bowl-caliber QB to a division rival. So unless the Bears make an offer they can’t refuse, it’s not happening.
That being said, Stafford’s exit would still have a significant impact on the Bears in a number of ways. In the short-term, it would undoubtedly weaken Detroit as a team. That would, theoretically, hand Chicago two victories in the 2021 schedule right off the bat. The more interesting part is what it could do to their quarterback search this offseason.
Both in where he ends up and what the Lions do to replace him.
Detroit holds the 7th overall pick in the draft. If Stafford were out, they would immediately become a threat to draft a QB at that spot, meaning if the Bears wanted one of the top QBs in this class they’d have to jump in front of them. At the same time, Stafford landing with another QB-needy team could also impact how the board falls for them in April. There is no doubt this is a big reason why the Detroit Lions will be watched for the next two months.