As the fans and radio stations continue to throw out scenarios in which the Detroit Lions move on from quarterback Matthew Stafford next year, the team itself maintains that is not in their best interest.
In his end-of-season press conference, general manager Bob Quinn was very clear: Matthew Stafford isn’t going anywhere.
“Matthew Stafford is our quarterback,” Quinn said unequivocally. “He will be our quarterback here. This guy is a really talented player. Myself, the coaches need to put him in better situations to allow him to use his skill set.”
2018 was Stafford’s worst statistical season in years. His 6.8 yards per attempt was the worst since 2012, his passer rating of 89.9 was the worst in five years. And this was the first time the Lions have lost double-digit games under the franchise quarterback since 2012.
But Quinn’s comments puts any conversation about a potential trade to bed. His comments match those of head coach Matt Patricia, who continually backed Stafford throughout the season.
“He’s our quarterback and I’m excited and happy that he is,” Patricia said on Monday.
One potential roadblock for a trade is Stafford’s monster contract. If the Lions were to trade Stafford, they’d eat a massive amount of dead cap and would actually be in a worse salary cap situation than if they just kept him. But Quinn said this does not factor into his decision to keep Stafford around in 2019.
“His contract is what it is,” Quinn said. “We’ve talked about that a couple years ago when we signed it, so I think that’s really a non-factor.”
And when asked straight up if they have any interest in trading Stafford, Quinn was abundantly clear:
“No, Matthew Stafford is our quarterback.”
It’s worth noting that last year, Quinn implied that tight end Eric Ebron would be part of the team in 2018:
Quinn also reiterates Eric Ebron will be back in 2018, so hopefully the questions about his future stop for now— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) February 28, 2018
Of course, the Lions would end up cutting Ebron to save cap space. However, the tone was much different in this press conference. When asked if Ebron was going to be around in 2018, Quinn said, “Yeah, he’s under contract with a tender.” That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the guy.
However, for much of Quinn’s 40-minute presser, he defended Stafford’s work ethic, leadership and football acumen. He made it clear he’s in Stafford corner, and that he has no interest in pursuing another franchise quarterback at moment.
Matthew Stafford is going nowhere, and you can take that to the bank.