Should Patriots Trade For Lions’ Matthew Stafford? Writer, Executive Share Takes

Time might be winding down on Stafford's Lions tenure

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November 30, 2020

Would Matthew Stafford flourish with the New England Patriots?

The Athletic’s Mike Sando evaluated the Patriots as a potential trade destination for the Detroit Lions quarterback Monday and concluded the answer to the aforementioned question probably depends on who plays alongside him. Stafford’s future in Detroit is uncertain after owner Sheila Ford Hamp said the team’s next general manager and head coach would decide the longtime quarterback’s fate with the Lions. Hemp’s comments naturally pushed Stafford’s name deeper into trade speculation, some of which links him to New England.

Here’s Sando’s opinion on a potential Patriots trade for Stafford.

“After three-plus seasons under (former head coach Matt) Patricia in Detroit, living by the Patriot Way in New England might not rank high on Stafford’s wish list, especially without sufficient weaponry on the roster to support a quarterback,” Sando wrote. “But Stafford could win in New England. (Coordinator) Josh McDaniels could still be there to run the offense. Key players could return from COVID-19 opt-outs. Bill Belichick will have time (and salary-cap resources) to restore the roster this coming offseason. Stafford, like current Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, comes with some injuries concerns at this stage. Unlike Newton, Stafford does not need rushing contributions to be effective.”

In his piece on Stafford’s potential destination, Sando spoke to an NFL executive, who anonymously doubted whether the veteran QB would be a sensible pickup for the Patriots.

“I think Stafford has lacked some accuracy this year and while some of that is protection and receiving corps, what kind of dynamic receiving corps do they have in New England?” the executive said.

This isn’t the first time analysts have linked Stafford with a move to the Patriots. Former NFL linebacker Bart Scott floated a hypothetical trade to New England last January. It never materialized, but that doesn’t mean such a move never will.

The Patriots might be in the market for another starting QB next year, as Newton hasn’t committed to remaining in New England, nor has he played well enough to make keeping him a no-brainer. Furthermore, NFL executives expect “immense” movement among QBs this offseason, according to Sando.

Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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