Now that the dust is finally starting to settle on the Detroit Lions having a new quarterback under center beginning in 2021, the speculation will begin as to how Matthew Stafford and the organization decided to part ways with one another.
According to the initial reports, Stafford had informed team president Rod Wood and principal owner Sheila Ford Hamp that he would agree to the organization finding a trade partner, if the right compensation could be agreed upon.
On Monday, an interesting new wrinkle emerged regarding Stafford and the organization's decision to mutually part ways.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, "Had the #Lions kept OC Darrell Bevell, QB Matthew Stafford likely would have wanted to stay. Instead, Bevell moves on to the #Jaguars and Stafford moves on to ... ?"
Could Stafford have returned if Detroit decided to retain the veteran offensive coach who had endeared himself to several of the players in the locker room?
At his season-ending media session, offensive lineman Taylor Decker indicated that he would speak to the front office regarding his thoughts on retaining Stafford.
Did Detroit's front office simply decide that a true rebuild was in order and dismiss Stafford's request?
If general manager Brad Holmes simply wanted to retool, why not retain Darrell Bevell and let Stafford play out his contract?
Indications are that Stafford did not envision himself mentoring a young quarterback. But, what if the organization held his feet to the fire, and simply denied his request to be traded this offseason?
A decision of this magnitude could have reverberating effects on the Lions for years to come.
For now, Stafford and the organization appear to be headed for a separation, after a 12-year stint for the veteran quarterback in Motown.
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