Matthew Stafford’s stock is only rivaled by that of GameStop, apparently.
According to multiple reports, the Rams weren’t the only team interested in trading for the new Rams quarterback. In fact, there were six teams interested in trading for the veteran QB, offering formal trade packages up front, with some offering more immediate NFL draft compensation than what Los Angeles offered (2022, 2023 first-round picks and a 2021 third-round pick).
While Stafford is ticketed for Hollywood, that didn’t stop a bevvy of teams from attempting a deal for him while the window was open. Per SI’s Albert Breer, the Washington Football Team and the Carolina Panthers were both hot after Stafford entering the weekend, with both squads offering their first-round pick for him. The Rams upped their offer — albeit with future firsts — to secure him.
Oh, there’s also the Jared Goff element of this deal: With Goff heading to Detroit, it seems like there weren’t many teams able to give up the replacement for Stafford in the process. It all came down to the picks.
Perhaps the most intriguing spurning of the process, the Panthers offered the No. 8 overall pick in 2021 plus another draft pick to the Lions for Stafford. The No. 8 pick turned out to be the highest pick offered to the Lions for the passer.
On its surface, it makes a little sense: At No. 8, there’s no guarantee that the Lions would have been able to snag one of the top three QBs available in 2021 (Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields). On the other hand, there’s also no guarantee on who will be available in the future, and the spot of those picks in the first round is unknown.
The Football Team from Washington, D.C., also threw its hat in the Stafford ring, offering the No. 19 overall pick plus a third-rounder for Stafford. While the relief in the draft is immediate, there’s no telling who would be available for the Lions at No. 19 this year. Washington was one of the finalists in the deal, alongside the Panthers and winner Rams.
Per Albert Breer, the Broncos discussed a “pick swap” with the Lions, but it was apparent that they weren’t in the “neighborhood” of what the deal turned out to be.
The Broncos are picking No. 9 in the 2021 NFL Draft with the Lions picking No. 7, so a two-spot difference and a later pick apparently wasn’t nearly enough to get conversations moving in a positive direction.
The Patriots “checked in” on Stafford, packaging a player and a second-round pick to try to land him. Stafford also wasn’t keen on wanting a trade to New England, per NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran, so this deal was dead on arrival.
The 49ers were “lukewarm” on the idea of trading for Stafford at one point, and planning to check back in with the Lions after the weekend. But it was apparent that the cost was much too high for San Francisco to play ball, and the team is supposedly cool with riding Jimmy Garoppolo moving forward.
The Colts put together a package of picks and a few players, per Breer, but never offered their first-round pick (No. 21 overall) for Stafford. The Colts are dealing with the retirement of Philip Rivers and have no immediate answer at quarterback in-house.
Both the Bears and Jets “checked in” on Stafford, but the price was likely too rich for their liking. With Sam Darnold facing major questions entering Year 4 and the Bears seemingly moving on from Mitchell Trubisky, it’s no surprise that both teams checked in on Stafford.