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Matthew Stafford Directed Offseason Deal to Rams, Blocking Trade with Panthers

Matthew Stafford had a strong influence on where the Lions traded him this offseason.

Matthew Stafford was the most sought-after player this offseason when he requested the Detroit Lions to trade him. Stafford, who had spent the previous 12 years in Detroit, had hoped to get a fresh start elsewhere as the Lions sit in 'rebuild mode' under new coach Dan Campbell.

Ultimately, Stafford wound up landing in Los Angeles as the Rams' new signal-caller of the foreseeable future. But the trade didn't come together as easily as you may expect.

Prior to the Rams sending three draft picks and Jared Goff to the Lions in exchange for Stafford, the Carolina Panthers were nearing a deal by the time they left the Senior Bowl in late January, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

"After consulting with his family, he made clear that he wanted to go to the Rams and so did his family. Stafford made his voice heard, and the Lions brass listened," Rapoport wrote.

Rapoport stated that the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and the Washington Football Team were all showing significant interest with multiple high draft picks on the table. 

He also noted that San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets remained interested but did not make a formal offer. 

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Rapoport said following the fallout of the Panthers deal, the Rams were forced to up their trade offer. He also said a source informed him that Stafford “likely would’ve vetoed any deal that wasn’t to the Rams.”

Not only is the Rams brass happy to have Stafford as the face of the franchise, but on the flip side, this was a move that Stafford wanted most among possible destinations he could’ve been traded to.

The Stafford era is here, kicking off on Sunday Night Football on Sept. 12 at 5:20 p.m. PT inside SoFi Stadium.

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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel.