It appears the interest was not mutual, however.
Stafford was known to be on his way out of Detroit for a few weeks, and it was reported the Lions and the veteran quarterback were going to work on a trade together. According to NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran, included in those conversations was Stafford requesting his now-former team trade him anywhere besides to the Patriots.
The 32-year-old’s reported lack of interest in the Patriots shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. New England featured arguably the NFL’s worst offensive arsenal in 2020, and history suggests Bill Belichick and Co. won’t be major players in free agency or the trade market this offseason. It’s also worth wondering if Stafford was turned off by the idea of reuniting with Matt Patricia, who recently returned to New England after a lousy two-year-plus stint as Lions head coach.
Stafford reportedly wanted to be in Los Angeles, and the Rams fulfilled those desires by sending three draft picks — including two first-rounders — and Jared Goff to the Lions. Even if the star signal-caller had interest in the Patriots, it’s tough to imagine New England would have paid a price that steep.
So, where the Patriots go from here now that one of the more appealing QB options is off the board? New England reportedly is open to the idea of reuniting with Jimmy Garoppolo, but the franchise apparently isn’t completely sold on the possibility.