WDIV-TV created quite the stir nationally when the Detroit-based television station reported Wednesday the Lions were in talks to trade Matthew Stafford.
During the initial report, sources close to the Lions and Matthew Stafford were cited.
Following general manager Bob Quinn's quick response refuting the report, many have been critical of the report.
Stafford's significant dead-cap hit if traded would be massive and his recent contract restructuring would make it more costly for the organization to trade him.
Fast forward to Friday.
The original post online has been revised by WDIV and no longer reflects the reference to sources close to Stafford.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk also noted that the original article has been modified, and speculated what the reason is for the change.
"What if (and I’m speculating here) the Lions don’t want to trade Stafford but Stafford (who is due to make only $8.3 million this year) secretly wants to be traded? This is one of the ways that the process could get rolling, with certain sources close to Stafford trying to essentially speak (or at least leak) a trade into existence.
The Lions, if it gets to that point, would surely resist trading Stafford. But it’s one thing to tell a tackle or a tight end or a running back that he’s not getting traded. The starting quarterback needs to be all in. If Stafford wants out, and if he’s eventually willing to say and do things that show that (like, for example, staying away from offseason workouts, not showing up early and staying late, and not generally acting as an extension of management) it becomes very hard to keep him.
A starting quarterback under contract for multiple additional years has never really made a power play like that, at least not in the free-agency era. And I’m not saying it will happen now. But the Local 4 report and the tentacles flowing from it justify paying close attention to whether and when there will be an effort by Stafford to get him traded to a new team in a new town with a new contract that better reflects the current quarterback market."
While the likelihood of Stafford being behind the controversial television report is low, it is definitely worth paying closer attention to than others have.