Ranking Matthew Stafford's Top 3 Landing Spots

Read more on the top three landing spots for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford this offseason
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As weird as it may sound, Matthew Stafford will be employed by an NFL franchise not named the Detroit Lions in 2021. 

The longtime Lions franchise passer and the organization are set to part ways this offseason after 12 years of a mostly harmonious marriage. 

Speculation has already begun to run rampant on where the 2009 No. 1 overall draft pick will land, with as many as eight-10 teams potentially vying for his services. 

At this point, here are the three teams that I believe are the most likely landing spots for him. 

3.) San Francisco 49ers 

Is Jimmy Garoppolo really the long-term answer for the 49ers at quarterback?

To be fair, Garoppolo did help lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl during the 2019 season. 

However, "Jimmy G" only suited up for six games in 2020 due to injury, and wasn't that great when he did play. He finished the campaign with just seven touchdown throws, to go along with five interceptions. 

I think it's pretty clear at this point that John Lynch & Co. in San Francisco could use an upgrade at the QB position, and Stafford would be just that. 

For a team that has all the makings of a dominant defense when everyone on that side of the ball is healthy -- i.e. Nick Bosa and Dee Ford -- and appears to be one piece away from hoisting a Lombardi Trophy, adding Stafford could be just what the doctor ordered.

On top of all that, the 49ers own the No. 12 overall selection in this year's draft. 

Giving up that pick and a couple other ones -- whether they be from San Francisco's collection of 2021 or 2022 picks -- could help bring Stafford to California. 

2.) Indianapolis Colts 

Philip Rivers out. Stafford in? 

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In 2020, Rivers -- no longer in the prime of his career and playing the majority of the season while 38 years old -- led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a wild card playoff berth. 

He finished the season with a total QBR of 62.5 -- the 19th-best mark among all qualified passers. 

Stafford, meanwhile, recorded the 15th-best total QBR (68.4). 

Additionally, the 32-year-old finished the season with a bang. He logged a Pro Football Focus grade of 91.8 -- the third-highest mark among all QBs -- from Weeks 13-17. 

So, he certainly could take the Colts' passing attack to a higher level, and he might just be the missing piece that turns Indianapolis into a Super Bowl contender. 

1.) Washington Football Team 

Washington is presently one of the most franchise QB-starved organizations in the league. 

And despite that being the case, remember, the Football Team is coming off a season in which it won the NFC East -- although it was a result of the division being extremely weak (Washington finished just 7-9). 

The franchise already possesses a strong defense that allowed only 20.6 points per game in 2020 -- the fourth-lowest total in the league. 

Washington's defense features a potent pass-rushing unit that is led by veteran defensive end Ryan Kerrigan (5.5 sacks in 2020) -- who is a free agent this offseason -- and supremely gifted EDGE rushers Montez Sweat (a team-leading nine sacks in '20) and Chase Young (7.5 sacks). 

So, Washington head man Ron Rivera & Co. are feasibly looking to take the next step in 2021. 

Would you rather attempt to do that with a soon-to-be 37-year-old Alex Smith, a career journeyman in Taylor Heinicke, who's made just two starts in his NFL career, or Stafford

I'm willing to put a good amount of money on Rivera opting for Stafford, out of those three options. 

The cherry on top is that former Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, who was part of the regime that made the decision to draft Stafford, was recently named the GM in Washington. 

Mayhew and Stafford were colleagues of one another in the Motor City from 2009-2015. 

Mayhew's experience with Stafford could lead to him advising Rivera -- who has the final say over all the team’s personnel decisions -- to pursue trading for the longtime Detroit franchise passer. 

Washington also appears to have the draft capital necessary to pull off a trade for No. 9. It possesses eight total draft picks, including the No. 19 overall selection and two third-rounders. 

A trade package involving the No. 19 pick and one of those third-rounders could seal the deal for new Detroit GM Brad Holmes and get Stafford to the nation's capital. 

I think it would be enough for Rivera & Co. to land him. And because of that and the other factors mentioned above -- most notably Mayhew's connection to Stafford -- I believe Washington is currently the strongest suitor to acquire the Lions franchise great this offseason.

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