For the second straight year, the Patriots find themselves with a hole at the quarterback position heading into the offseason. While they filled that hole with Cam Newton, but that many would agree that Newton isn’t the long-term answer. That failed experiment has led us to where we are now, with Belichick and the Patriots looking for their next solution. This solution can be found a number of ways: via the draft, via trade, or via free agency. All three routes provide some interesting options for the Patriots, but the latest Matthew Stafford rumors may raise some ears in New England.
After 12 seasons as quarterback of the Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford and the team have mutually agreed upon a separation, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. With new leadership in Detroit, the team seems to be looking to start a new era in the Motor City. In his 12 seasons, Stafford played in just three playoff games with zero wins. At almost 33 years of age, it makes sense that Stafford would want a change of scenery and a chance at a championship before he retires.
Potential Fits for Stafford
While the market for Stafford may not be enormous, there are a handful of teams that are likely to be interested. If the 49ers move on from Jimmy Garappolo, San Francisco could be an option for Stafford to revive his career with Kyle Shanahan. Other potential suitors could be the Saints, Colts, and the Washington Football Team.
Like the aforementioned teams, the Patriots also have an opening at the quarterback position. Stafford could benefit immensely from playing in the Patriots offense, which operates on smart quarterback play. Bill Belichick has praised Stafford in the past, saying in 2018 that Stafford is “as good as there is in football” throwing the ball downfield and that he is “extremely dangerous.” Belichick surely isn’t one to toss this kind of praise around lightly.
In addition to being able to play in New England’s system, the Patriots also have a lot of cap space to work with. While the Patriots have one of the worst receiving cores in the league (something Stafford isn’t too unfamiliar with), they have a lot of money to spend and a rich WR class to spend it on. Both Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. are free agents and could potentially join Stafford as a familiar target in New England.
Not So Fast…
Though the Patriots and Stafford would give each other the best opportunity to win soon, there is no guarantee that the QB would want to come to New England. Just this week, it was announced that former Lions head coach Matt Patricia would be returning to the Patriots in a number of roles. Stafford and Patricia worked together nearly three seasons and reportedly didn’t have the best relationship. Though Patricia’s role would likely limit his interaction with Stafford, his presence alone may lead to some discomfort.
Whatever this offseason has in store for us, these Matthew Stafford rumors should have Patriots fans and fans of other QB-needy teams on their toes. For more NFL coverage, check out the blog here. For the best Patriots coverage, check us out here.
Photo: (Freddie Popken)
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