When news broke of quarterback Matthew Stafford requesting a trade a week ago, the New England Patriots were immediately one of the suitors that came to mind.
New England now owns the third-best odds to acquire the former Pro Bowler, according to Bovada, behind only San Francisco and Indianapolis. One former Patriot with championship experience, Rodney Harrison, said if he were Stafford, New England would be his preferred destination.
"I would say New England is a perfect choice for him," Harrison said on "Safety Blitz" this week. "He can go in there – they have a good defense, they're gonna add a couple more guys. They can build on the offense and go draft an offensive player, pick up some guys in free agency."
Stafford is set to make $43 million over the next two years, but he has a cap hit of $33 million for the 2021 season. The Patriots are currently projected to start the offseason with roughly $60 million in cap space.
Harrison said New England would need to bring in a tight end and a couple receivers in order to maximize Stafford's potential in Foxboro, and that all he would need to do to succeed is not to "throw it into the ground like Cam (Newton)."
Harrison's former teammate, Tedy Bruschi, disagreed, and took the stance that Stafford doesn't have what it takes to win in New England.
"I'm a fan of Matthew Stafford the player, I'm just not a fan of his teams – so what does that say?" Bruschi said Wednesday on WEEI. "It says watching him play is fun, sling it all over the place, the arm angles, taking chances... all of that stuff, that's great. But it never equals into anything substantial, anything meaningful for the victory."
Bruschi went one step further and said Stafford's lack of a playoff resume is a glaring hole on his resume.
"He is a star but, yes, he is not a winner," Bruschi said. "There's a lot of guys out there with a lot of stats that have no playoff wins, and I think Stafford doesn't have playoff wins for a reason."
Stafford has made the playoffs three times, but has yet to win a division since joining Detroit in 2009. While he did go 57-55 with four winning seasons between 2011 and 2017 without missing a single start, Stafford was 14-25-1 as a starter over the past three seasons.
Harrison recognized Stafford's failure to lead his teams to postseason victories in the past, but said that could be overlooked if he finds his way to Foxboro.
"They don't need his leadership, they need him to throw the ball and make completions down the field," Harrison said. "They have enough leadership, they have Bill (Belichick), they have some of those older veterans on the defensive side of the ball."
The Patriots ranked in the bottom 10 in the NFL in 2020 in completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns and passer rating. Stafford, on the other hand, surpassed 4,000 yards for the eighth time in his last nine full seasons and had better passer ratings than Matt Ryan, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield.