Bleacher Report but still interesting -Matthew Stafford Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation on Lions QB's Future
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Lions aren't committing to Stafford as their quarterback beyond this year.
Such a stance makes sense considering Stafford hasn't lived up to expectations. The team fired general manager Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand, per ESPN.com's Adam Schefter.
With a new regime coming to Detroit and the current inside track for the No. 1 overall draft pick, the Lions could replace Stafford with a more cost-effective—and more effective in general—option.
The 27-year-old signal-caller has two years remaining on his current contract and would be an $11 million cap hit in dead money if the Lions release him in 2016, per Spotrac. That means a trade could well be on the horizon.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noted how Stafford's current deal bodes well for Detroit's trade prospects:
Numerous teams and QB whisperers would likely love to tutor Stafford and give him a shot at redeeming what's been a mostly disappointing tenure in Detroit, even if it were more expensive.
Stafford was the top overall draft choice in 2009 but has led Detroit to the playoffs only twice, losing in the NFC Wild Card Round each time. For someone with his cannon arm, limitless potential and a longtime go-to receiver in Calvin Johnson, there's no excuse for Stafford to be averaging a pedestrian 7.0 per pass attempt for his career, along with an 83.7 passer rating, per Pro-Football-Reference.com.
This year hasn't been a banner campaign for Stafford either, as he's thrown 13 touchdowns to 11 interceptions; his offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi, was fired, too.
To Stafford's credit, he accepted some blame for Lombardi's dismissal, per ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein: "Joe was receptive to the things I had to say. If anything, it was probably I got to do a better job of communicating, too. It's on everybody when bad stuff happens, and I can always be better too."
If the Lions are able to land a superior QB at the top of the 2016 draft, bring in a decent haul for Stafford in a trade and hire the proper coaching staff, they could turn things around rather swiftly.
On the other hand, the current roster is quite a mess and likely would need at least a year to break in a new franchise quarterback. Detroit currently ranks 30th in scoring offense, last in points allowed per contest and may be losing a QB it committed to for the long haul. There aren't many silver linings to be had for NFL fans in Motown right now.
Jets gonna come calling?