Matthew Stafford is going to be on the move this offseason.
According to the latest reports, Stafford and the Lions have mutually agreed to part ways. Stafford evidently wants to play for a contender while new coach Dan Campbell leads the Lions through a rebuild. As such, Stafford will likely be traded, and the Washington Football Team will be one of the teams bidding for his services.
So, where does the Washington Football Team rank in the Matthew Stafford sweepstakes? Here’s a look at the teams that could target him this offseason, starting with a handful of long shots.
Pittsburgh Steelers. If Ben Roethlisberger retires, the Steelers would be faced with starting either Mason Rudolph, Josh Dobbs, or (gulp) Dwayne Haskins at the quarterback spot. Armed with the 24th pick, it would make more sense for them to target a veteran quarterback to replace Big Ben if that does occur.
However, it seems like Roethlisberger is going to return, so this move doesn’t seem likely.
New York Giants. The Giants nearly made the playoffs in the weak NFC East last year with Daniel Jones at the quarterback spot. Imagine how much better they’d be with Matthew Stafford there.
While Stafford would certainly be an upgrade, the Giants do have some other holes to plug and haven’t shown a willingness to give up on Jones just yet. Maybe their tune will change this offseason, but for now, expect the Giants to build up the rest of their roster via the draft and see if Jones is the answer in 2021. It’s not like Joe Judge is on the hot seat after a solid first season, so he can afford to pick and choose his moment to go get a QB.
Carolina Panthers. On paper, the Panthers may look like a solid landing spot for Stafford. They have an offensive-minded head coach and an innovative, young coordinator. They also boast some solid weapons under contract including D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Christian McCaffrey.
The Panthers could also dangle Teddy Bridgewater, who played for Dan Campbell for a year with the Saints, in a trade.
That said, it’s hard to imagine Stafford viewing the Panthers as much of an upgrade over the Lions. The Panthers are still building their team and their defense isn’t great yet. Neither is their blocking. Stafford may prefer to be traded to a team with an easier path to contention, especially since the Panthers play in the tough-looking NFC South.
New York Jets. The Jets have multiple first-round draft picks this year, so if they’re not in love with Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or Zach Wilson, they could try to build a package around the 23rd pick to get Stafford and roll with a veteran. They may rather just stick with Sam Darnold in that circumstance, but if they want an upgrade, they have the resources, draft-wise and financially, to target Stafford.