Matthew Stafford is a good quarterback. That much is indisputable. The longtime Detroit Lions leader has had his up and down years, but he can definitely still sling the rock for high yardage and touchdown totals. He has not won very many games over the last few years, and he has to take at least some of the blame for that, but the usual myriad problems layering the franchise that employs him is largely responsible for the team's failure to get over the .500 mark for the last three years.
It therefore makes sense that Stafford would be a popular target when reports emerged he and the Detroit Lions would prefer to part ways this offseason. That would be true in any offseason, but it is especially true this offseason, where a QB carousel unlike we've ever seen could take place. Adam Schefter predicted earlier this week that 18 signal-callers will change teams. There are at least four that will not be bringing back their 2020 starter under any circumstances and have to find a new guy. There are more than double that who could change it up if the opportunity for an upgrade presents itself.
Still, the early reports on the Stafford trade market are surprisingly substantial. Yesterday, Ian Rapoport said a third of the league has already reached out to the Lions to inquire after Stafford.
This morning, Peter King said at least five teams will offer a first-rounder for the former No. 1 pick's services.
If the competition is this fierce, the Lions could make out like bandits if they play it right. A win amongst a sea of recent losses would help take the sting of another great player's career wasted in Detroit, that's for certain.
The bidding war is set to begin in earnest. Stafford is an above-average quarterback, and is clearly viewed that way around the league. He may not end up being worth whatever is given up to get him, but the offseason is a time of optimism and plenty of teams around the league will convince themselves Stafford could be even better with good players around him.
It will inevitably result in a windfall of some sort for Detroit (how big depends on the negotiation savviness of new GM Brad Holmes) and a new uniform for Stafford. The news of the last few days has made it clear that there will be competition for Stafford's services. He gets a fresh start and we will all see just how good he is when not a Lion. The fun starts now.