Detroit Lions: 5 teams that need to trade for Matthew Stafford

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Lions
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After the news broke last week that Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions have agreed to part ways as long as the organization receives an acceptable offer, we couldn’t help but wonder where his next stop could be.

Receiving a significant return should not be a problem for the Detroit Lions as they begin to field offers.  Finding a trade partner shouldn’t be an issue either with the abundance of potential quarterback openings around the league. Plus, Stafford won’t cost teams nearly what Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, or Deshaun Watson will.  The team that chooses to acquire Stafford will only be on the hook for $20 million per season, a very affordable price for a top-12 NFL quarterback.

The Lions will be eager to move Stafford before March 21st, when a $10 million roster bonus will kick in.  After Detroit trades Stafford, the move will clear $14 million in cap space for the Detroit Lions and carry a dead cap of $19 million for the 2021 season.

The decision to move Stafford became inevitable as the organization granted head coach Dan Campbell a six-year contact, signaling another wholesale rebuild.  With all of the potential landing spots, we’re about to mention he should have an opportunity to finally win the first playoff game of his career and potentially more.

It’s said that the asking price for Stafford will ‘start’ with a first-round pick, but an affordable talent like Stafford could garner more if a bidding war were to occur.

Here are five teams that should reach out to the Detroit Lions in hopes of striking a deal for the veteran signal-caller.

Indianapolis Colts

After producing the league’s eight best offense with the corps of Philip Rivers under center, can you imagine what the Indianapolis Colts could do with Matthew Stafford slinging it?  This past year the Colts averaged 383.6 yards per game, 256.6 of which came via the air, which ranked 11th in the league.

That passing attack paired with Jonathan Taylor pounding the rock propelled the Colts in 2020 to an 11-5 record, the best the franchise has seen since 2014.  If the Colts had been lucky enough to have Andrew Luck in 2020, the franchise could very well be headed to Tampa to square off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instead of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Colts seem like they are just a quarterback away from making a legitimate run at a title, and they have plenty of salary-cap space to acquire Stafford.  With about $70 million in cap space, the Colts not only can add Stafford, but they can also re-sign pending free agent T.Y. Hilton and keep the majority of their top-ten defense in-tact for the 2021 season.

I’d expect Colts General Manager (GM) Chris Ballard to be aggressive this offseason looking to replace the recently retired Rivers with some elite talent.

The Colts currently hold the 21st pick in the 2021 NFL Draft; it will take that along with potentially a conditional third-round selection.  If the Colts appear in the Super Bowl, a third-round choice can turn into a second.