Matthew Stafford has quietly become one of the NFL’s better quarterbacks. He can make every throw, shows leadership and toughness, and comes up in the clutch. Despite his individual stats and success, team success hasn’t come for the Detriot Lions. They still are a team that hasn’t found a way to put together a winning franchise.
It looks like Stafford’s career in Detroit is coming to a close. He is looking for a new place to play, wanting a fresh start for his career. Being a veteran quarterback, he is looking to join a contending team and win a championship. The Indianapolis Colts are in a position to give Matthew Stafford the fresh start he is looking for.
The Colts are in the market for a quarterback
Indy should be ecstatic about Matthew Stafford looking to get out of Detroit. They are actively searching for a quarterback to join their roster. Philip Rivers, who was the Colts’ quarterback last year, announced his retirement after 17 seasons. Their backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett is going to be a free agent, leaving Indy with Jacob Eason.
With only one quarterback under contract going into the offseason, Indianapolis is in dire need of one. Their options in getting their next quarterback are endless. They could re-sign Brissett, bringing him back for another year. Indy might evaluate the free-agent market for their next signal-caller. Another option is they could draft a quarterback.
Whichever option they choose, Indianapolis must make sure they are getting a long-term answer at quarterback. The team has resembled a quarterback carousel in recent years. That isn’t like the Colts, known for their stability under center.
The free-agent market is mediocre, and the Colts have too good of a roster to waster one or two years grooming a rookie quarterback. Trading for an established QB is Indy’s best option. With Matthew Stafford looking for a fresh start, Indianapolis should be on the phone with the Lions. Getting Stafford on the Colts would be a significant upgrade for both parties.
The Colts have everything Matthew Stafford needs
During Stafford’s career in Detroit, there have been many things that have negatively impacted his success. Poor defense, lousy offensive line, no running game, inept coaches (besides Jim Caldwell), etc. If the Colts can put a package together for Stafford and get him, it would be a match made in heaven. Indy has everything Stafford has lacked his entire career.
There is a solid offensive line anchored by Quenton Nelson. The running game is a two-headed monster with Jonathan Taylor and Marlon Mack. The receivers are young and rising with Zach Pascal, Michael Pittman Jr., and Parris Campbell. If Indy brings T.Y. Hilton back, that gives Stafford another legit weapon. This would be the best supporting cast Stafford has had his entire career.
A stout defense will be there to back up Stafford. The Colts finished as a top 10 defensive unit last year and have much of their core returning. Led by Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner, Indy’s defense is physically dominating. They will be able to get Stafford extra possessions via turnovers and prevent them from getting into shootouts with other teams. A quarterback’s best friend is a solid line and a stifling defense. Indy has both to offer Stafford and more.
What would it cost Indy to get Matthew Stafford?
Looking at the situation the Colts and Matthew Stafford face, both sides should try to get something done. How much would Indy have to get up to gain Stafford’s services? According to Adam Schefter, the Lions asking price is going to be at least a first-round pick. The Colts have the No. 21 pick in the draft this year.
Will Indy be willing to part with their first-round pick? They could use that pick to address some holes in their roster. However, quarterback is a hole on their roster, and probably the biggest hole. The Colts made a similar move last offseason, giving up their first-rounder for Buckner. Other pieces are going to be included, which the Colts will also have to negotiate.
Absorbing Stafford’s contract shouldn’t be an issue for the Colts. He will be owed $20 million this upcoming season, less than what Indy paid Rivers in 2020. With two years left in his deal, the Colts can assess his fit with the team and then decide whether to sign him to a long-term contract. The two years don’t break the Colts financially, only owing Stafford $43 million. According to Spotrac, Indy is going to have roughly $68 million in cap space.
The Indianapolis Colts are a quarterback away from Super Bowl contention. It would be in their best interest to inquire about Matthew Stafford. He is only 32 years old and has proven he is a talented quarterback in the NFL. Stafford can get the fresh start he wants with Frank Reich in Indianapolis and finally be with a winning franchise.