Skip to main content

My Plan for Matthew Stafford

Read more on what the Lions' plan for Matthew Stafford should be

The never-ending debate continues: Should the Detroit Lions move on from quarterback Matthew Stafford? 

It’s a discussion that has been going on for quite some time in sports talk circles. But, for the first time in Stafford’s career, there is some real uncertainty regarding his future in Detroit. 

Depending on what the new general manager’s plan is for the rebuild, there is the option of looking elsewhere for a quarterback down the line.

At this point in time, there is no telling what will happen or what circumstances will arise. That won’t stop me from giving my opinion on the matter, though. 

Despite still fully believing Stafford can win playoff games and even a Super Bowl with a well-rounded team around him, all options should be explored.

Stafford has already been in the league for 12 years, and is not getting any younger. 

Soon to be 33, Stafford is by no means old in quarterback years. He still has some primes years left to play.

However, with two years left on his current deal, there is a limited amount of time left before a trade could be made. As he ages, so does his trade value.


Regarding trade value, that is another big question mark. 

There have been plenty of less-talented quarterbacks traded for a first-round pick. 

If the Lions are able to find a trade partner willing to give up a first-rounder, it’s a deal the Lions shouldn’t pass up, considering their situation.

Some may say that Stafford isn’t worth that much after a down season, and I personally wouldn't trade him for anything less. 

But, if you look at the salary another team would incur by dealing for him, it makes it an absolute steal. 

Two seasons left for a franchise quarterback that doesn’t come with the yearly, $10 million signing-bonus cap hit should tempt any quarterback-needy franchise.

For the Lions, Stafford’s $24.8 million dead-cap hit in 2021 sounds like a lot of money -- and because it is. 

It’s definitely not wise to take on that much dead cap in most seasons. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Lions Articles


Lions Had Second-Most Delay of Game Penalties in 2021

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell wants the Lions' offense to play with faster tempo in 2022.


Roundtable: When Should Jameson Williams Make Debut for Lions?

The latest SI All Lions Roundtable focuses on when Detroit Lions rookie wideout Jameson Williams will make his NFL debut.


Notebook: Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal Bonding Early in Minicamp

Detroit Lions EDGE defenders Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal have formed a bond early on in rookie minicamp.

Given that Lions ownership likely won’t expect playoff success in the next general manager's inaugural year, shipping off a myriad of high-priced contracts and getting them off the books for 2022 isn’t a bad strategy, though. 

Right now, the Lions' roster needs a complete overhaul. 

In all likelihood, the organization is not in position for a quick turnaround. 

If anything, keeping Stafford would likely slow the rebuilding process, as he'd probably carry below-average teams to mediocrity; therefore, losing draft position.

Trading Stafford for the right price wouldn’t necessarily be a sign of not believing in his abilities, but what is right for the now and long-term outlook. 

And it would actually probably be mutually beneficial. 

Stafford could go to a competent team, and the new Lions GM could tear down the mess Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn made and attempt to start fresh.

Will I be upset if the new staff keeps Stafford around? No, as it never hurts to have a good quarterback. 

However, my plan of deploying a cheap, rookie quarterback has proven to be successful fairly often. And it’s time for the Lions to take a shot on one when the time is right and to ultimately trade Stafford.

More from SI All Lions:

Tony Dungy Says Lions Should Bring Back Jim Caldwell

How Many Games Will Lions Win Under Darrell Bevell?

3 Keys to Victory for Lions against Bears

Peterson Says Swift Hasn't Been Himself Since Suffering Concussion

Dan Orlovsky Shares Why Robert Saleh Should Be At Top of Lions List

Can Eric Bieniemy Save Matthew Stafford's Career

Get the latest Detroit Lions news by joining our community. Click "Follow" at the top right of our SI All Lions page. Mobile users click the notification bell. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @DetroitPodcast.