Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford hopes to remain with the franchise “for a long time,” he told Fox 2 Detroit, despite reports that his time with the team could be coming to a close after this season.
Last Week, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that sources told him that “Stafford’s future with the Lions in 2016 and beyond is very much in doubt,” and that the quarterback is not guaranteed any money after this season. Rapoport also added that if Stafford was cut before the 2016 season, it would cost Detroit $11 million, meaning the team would be paying him to remove him from the roster.
Stafford said he tries not be concerned with those speculations.
“I don’t think it helps for me to sit there and think about it,” Stafford said. “I’m doing a disservice to the guys in the locker room who are preparing to win games on Sundays to sit there and worry about what the future holds. I love playing here. I’ve enjoyed it. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully I’m here for a long time,” he added.
Reports have also surfaced questioning Stafford’s intelligence. Rapoport reported that former Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi became frustrated with Stafford because he believed he could not handle taking control of the offense, and that new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has to “simplify things for Stafford.”
Head coach Jim Caldwell came to the defense of the quarterback, calling the reports “hogwash.”
“It takes you about two seconds to understand and know that he is very bright guy with an immense amount of talent,” Caldwell said.
Backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky also debunked the rumors that Stafford is not intelligent.
“We have conversations, in-depth, thorough conversations of things other than, ‘How are you going to block the mike [linebacker]?’” Orlovsky said. “It’s not that I think he’s smart. I know he’s smart.”
The Lions selected Stafford No. 1 in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. In seven seasons with the Lions, he has thrown for 23,797 yards, 144 touchdowns and 96 interceptions.
- Xandria James