The quarterback pool just got a bit more interesting for the New England Patriots this offseason.
On Saturday, it was reported that the Detroit Lions and veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford mutually agreed to part ways this offseason, putting an end to an 11-year marriage. Because Stafford is still under contract with Detroit for two more years, this means that the Lions will look for trade suitors in the coming months, and will reportedly try to trade him before he is due a $10 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the 2021 league year in March.
After a lackluster 2020 season with quarterback Cam Newton on a prove-it deal, New England is undoubtedly in the market for a starting quarterback this offseason. That's why you can best bet that the six-time Super Bowl champions will be inquiring about Stafford.
Lucky for the Patriots, they have all the intel they need about Stafford's ability at 32 years old.
New England just re-hired Matt Patricia to their coaching staff last week. Patricia spent the last three seasons as Detroit's head coach, which means he had a front seat to what Stafford is capable of in recent years.
So, we know there will be some level of interest by New England to acquire Stafford. However, their level of interest will ultimately be determined by the asking price for Stafford.
During his time with the Lions, Stafford threw for 45,000 yards, 282 touchdowns and had 144 interceptions while also completing 62.4 percent of his passes. During the 2020 season he threw for 4,084 yards and had 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Stafford's level of success as a passer has been exceptional throughout his career, especially when considering that Detroit has done a poor job year in and year out of building a team around him.
The two years remaining on Stafford's contract give him due salaries of $9.5 million in 2021 and $12.5 million in 2022. The cap hits for those two years for the team that acquires him are $20 million and $23 million, respectively.
Because of Stafford's high level of play, it's within reasonable expectation that Detroit will be looking for a first-round pick in exchange for the veteran quarterback, with some added bodies or draft capital depending on when the pick lands on Day 1 of the draft.
New England holds the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Drafting a quarterback with that selection was a possibility given their situation at the position heading into the 2021 season. However, it seems like there might now be an option to swap that pick (and potentially some more draft capital or a player) to get Stafford from Detroit.
So, let's take a vote; if you are the Patriots, would you be willing to trade the 15th overall pick for Matthew Stafford?
Another question: do you think it would only take the 15th overall pick to acquire Stafford?