Matt Ryan deal proves the Detroit Lions cashed in trading Matthew Stafford

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons recently traded former league MVP, Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round draft pick, proving the Detroit Lions moved Matthew Stafford at the perfect time.

It’s been a wild offseason in the NFL with an abundance of starting quarterbacks looking for real estate in new cities. It’s been a quarterback carousel quite like we’ve never seen before, with lower-level starters like Carson Wentz moving from the Colts to Washington and Marcus Mariota taking over for the recently departed Ryan in Atlanta.

Tom Brady’s retirement also lasted a total of 40-days.  It’s almost as though Brady saw the competition in the NFC South and thought to win the division and host a playoff game; all I’ve got to do is beat Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and either Cam Newton or Sam Darnold twice in the upcoming season.

I understand Brady opted to return before Ryan was dealt to the Colts, but there had been some writing on the wall in Atlanta for quite some time.  The Falcons were all-in during the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes leaving Ryan’s future up in the air.  Not that Matt Ryan or any other quarterback for that matter would deter Brady from making his return, but playing in one of the easiest divisions in football certainly did.

We also saw Russell Wilson head to Denver in a trade during this offseason, removing yet another future Hall Of Fame quarterback from the NFC.  That leaves Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Matthew Stafford tugging at each other’s pant leg, trying to jostle for playoff positioning while the AFC feasts on themselves.  And don’t forget, Baker Mayfield is still looking for a new home.  Maybe Carolina Atlanta or Seattle is his next stop.

The Detroit Lions elected to trade Matthew Stafford at the perfect time.

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes looks like a genius when comparing the return he and the Lions received for Matthew Stafford to the one Atlanta just fetched for Matt Ryan.

Sure, 36 years old, Ryan is a few years older than Stafford (33), but he is a former league MVP.  His skills looked to have dropped off substantially last season, but let’s not forget how bad the Falcons performed, and to make matters worse, they were without star receiver Calvin Ridley for the majority of the year.

The Lions not only received a pair of first-round picks for Stafford but also a third-round choice and a bridge quarterback.  Detroit is already a year ahead of Atlanta when it comes to the rebuilding process, and with a flooded market, there is no way Holmes would have gotten anywhere near what he did for Stafford if he had waited until this winter.

Now, for the Rams, looking back, it doesn’t matter what they gave up for Stafford because it paid off with a Super Bowl victory.  They have no regrets.

Next. Franchise tag leaves us wondering who the Lions pick at no. 2. dark

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Ryan has totaled 59,735 passing yards, 367 touchdowns, and 170 interceptions throughout his 14-year career in Atlanta.  In comparison, Stafford has totaled 49,995 yards, 323 touchdowns, and 161 interceptions in 13 seasons of work.