Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford part ways, what’s next for the team?

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford mutually agreed to part ways early Saturday night. It came as no surprise to Lions fans as he was not in the organization’s future. Stafford leaving Detroit is old news to me as I heard this rumor back in December.

Many teams will be looking to snag their franchise quarterback in the draft. Others will have no choice but to pick from those currently employed. The Detroit Lions will be looking to make a move, trade offers have already been rolling in the question is where will Matthew Stafford end up.

As suitors start lining up, the new front office and regime here in Detroit will have one of their biggest tests early on.

Here are six teams that the Detroit Lions should consider moving Matthew Stafford to this offseason.

Matthew Stafford will not finish his career in a Detroit Lions uniform. Where will he ride off into the sunset?

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Houston Texans

The best place to start is the team without a first-round draft pick. It does not seem Deshaun Watson will be in Houston by the time pre-season starts. The Texans finally settled on a head coach, meaning their biggest issue is solved.

Other than that, the Texans have a decent amount of weapons on offense. Brandin Cooks had a bounce-back season finishing with 1150 yards and six touchdowns. Keke Coutee showed flashes of greatness.

Stafford loves to air the ball out, making the Texans a prominent potential landing spot for him next season.

New Orleans Saints

Sorry Jameis, but the truth hurts. The impending retirement of Drew Brees puts the Saints behind the eight ball for 2021. The addition of Matthew Stafford would be a significant improvement.

Stafford fits in that offense like a glove. With superstars like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, Stafford could land the Saints in the record books with that much star power.

The Saints offensive line is also one of the best in the league. Stafford will need to put that in the memory bank when making this decision. The Saints seem like a slam dunk, but a few other teams need a quarterback more.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Just because the Steelers recently signed Dwayne Haskins does not mean they have their quarterback of the future. He will not be replacing Ben Roethlisberger but backing him up if he decides to return for one more season.

That does not look like the case with how he finished the season, so the Steelers are back to square one. Stafford would be a great addition to the offense.

Wide receivers like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, and Diontae Johnson make Pittsburgh an appealing destination. However, with the entire division having quarterbacks that are an average age of 23, the Steelers could be looking into the draft for their franchise guy.

It’s possible and not a terrible idea for the Steelers— “Big Ben’s” decision to play or retire causes this scenario to be unlikely.

San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo has started 25 games in three seasons. He suffered season-ending injuries in two of his three seasons in the Bay Area. It may be time for him to hop on a trolley out of town.

The 49ers are a contender in the NFC when fully healthy. Their defense ranks inside the top five, along with Shanahan’s approach to running the offense. The only thing missing is a healthy quarterback.

Stafford is as tough as they come. He would be a perfect fit for this offense with his air-raid style and finally surrounded by a group of talented running backs. The 49ers could send Garappolo to Detroit along with swapping of draft picks. It would be a trade that benefits both sides.

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are the best team for Matthew Stafford to ride off into the sunset. When I heard this rumor back in December, I immediately thought of different scenarios that would bring the 32-year-old to Foxboro.

The Patriots have the 15th pick in this year’s NFL Draft. It may not be possible to snag a QB like Zach Wilson or Trey Lance. Trading for Stafford helps bring in veteran leadership and turn the organization’s attention to other positions where they lack talent.

The Patriots sending the 15th pick to Detroit and Stephon Gilmore for Stafford sounds insane on paper, but Gilmore being 32 coming off a season-ending knee injury makes it a bit better. J.C Jackson proved this season that the Patriots defense is not totally in chaos.

Stafford to New England sounds like a match made in heaven. All Bill has to do is make the call.

Indianapolis Colts

I did not expect this. Phillip Rivers retiring leaves a vacancy at the quarterback position unless the Colts decide to roll with Jacoby Brissett, which seems unlikely.

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Indianapolis is drafting at a position too low to grab Zach Wilson or Trey Lance. They have a fair amount of draft capital and cap space, making it possible to help Dan Campbell’s Lions in their rebuilding process. A first-round draft pick combined with a few more picks would be an equal swap for both sides.