Matthew Stafford‘s time with the Detroit Lions looks to be coming to an end. Stafford spent the first 12 years of his NFL career with the franchise, where he cultivated his life on and off the field. With that in mind, his wife, Kelly Stafford, has clarified his future with the Lions.
Lions are planning on parting ways with Matthew Stafford
Throughout the 2020 season, the writing was on the wall that the Detroit Lions would move on from longtime quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The Lions trekked through another campaign falling well short of the playoffs that put the nail in the coffin for Stafford’s tenure. Over the weekend, ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed that notion as he reported that Detroit is fielding trade offers for the former Pro Bowler.
Stafford is heading into the fourth year of his five-year, $135 million deal that runs through the 2022 season. The Lions will take on a $19 million dead cap hit for the 2021 campaign to move in a new direction under center.
Detroit currently holds the seventh overall pick in the 2021 draft that features a few other promising quarterback prospects beyond Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, such as Zach Wilson and Trey Lance. In short, the Lions will have their pick of the bunch to find their future franchise cornerstone.
Beyond that, Stafford’s wife has brought more clarity to the situation.
Matthew Stafford’s wife sheds light on his future with the Lions
Matthew Stafford spent the first 12 years of his career with the Lions, which saw the franchise become home for him and his family.
His wife, Kelly Stafford, recently took to Instagram to confirm that the 32-year-old’s time with the team is coming to a close. Kelly voiced her gratitude toward the city of Detroit for embracing her family with open arms.
“Thank you. This place, our home, the people,” said Kelly Stafford. “It’s hard to find the words to explain what this place means to me. Random tears come very often when I think about not being here. This place supported me during the toughest time of my life and during the happiest times and I want to thank y’all in the right way.
“Whenever I figure out what the future holds, you’ll be hearing from me again with a thank you that hopefully shows how much gratitude and love I have for this place.. but until then we are going to enjoy our time left in Michigan to the fullest because there really is no other place like it.”
Stafford’s connection to the city of Detroit is much more than football as he cultivated his growing family during his tenure. He and his wife welcomed their fourth child last June, which all of their children were born over the previous few years.
The imminent departure is a tough move for the Staffords that will shortly see a new chapter begin in another city.
Possible landing spots emerge
Although it may be quite early in the process, a few potential landing spots have quickly emerged for Matthew Stafford.
There is an obvious connection to the New England Patriots, who are expected to move on from Cam Newton after one season. The Patriots will have a plethora of salary cap space to take on his $33 million in base salary and bonuses for the 2021 campaign.
Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts need another quarterback after Philip Rivers announced his retirement earlier this month. The Colts have the pieces on both sides of the ball to be a playoff constant and Super Bowl hopeful in the years ahead.
The San Francisco 49ers could become a landing spot if they choose to part ways with Jimmy Garoppolo, who holds only a $2.8 million dead cap hit for 2021. The 49ers are another team with an intriguing roster that can immediately compete for the playoffs upon Stafford’s arrival.
Ultimately, the Lions hold the cards in this situation, which could see them garner a significant haul in return in any trade for the veteran quarterback.
Contract numbers courtesy of Spotrac.