As we enter 2019, some continue to speculate that the Detroit Lions may not be fully committed to Matthew Stafford as their franchise quarterback and could potentially move on as early as this year or next.
However, according to the Miami Herald, the Lions had an opportunity to move on last year but turned it down.
Per Armando Salguero, the Miami Dolphins and then head coach Adam Gase “mounted an effort” to try and trade for Stafford prior to the 2018 season. Gase, according to Salguero, is good friends with Matt Patricia and believed the new Lions head coach was exploring all avenues to improve his new team.
However, it appears the Lions didn’t have any real interest in moving on from Stafford at the time.
“Patricia, obviously recognizing Stafford’s value to the Lions, told Gase he was not willing to move on from the quarterback at that point, per sources,” Salguero wrote.
It’s worth noting here that general manager Bob Quinn denies this exchange between the Lions and Dolphins ever happened:
I asked Bob Quinn about this at the combine. He denied the Dolphins tried to trade for Stafford. https://t.co/1wGoTTyEk6— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 26, 2019
If Salguero’s report is accurate, it’s yet another example of Patricia’s—and the Lions’—commitment to Stafford. Though the Lions quarterback suffered one the worst season of his recent career last year, Patricia and Quinn have remained in his corner, publicly praising Stafford without reservation.
Of course, Stafford’s contract was also ridiculously unfavorable towards a trade at the time, so there were other reasons to shut down trade talks immediately.
With a new offensive coordinator in town, it’s hard to be certain how committed the Lions are to Stafford long-term, but the fact that Detroit didn’t really even entertain offers from the Dolphins last year shows at least a decent level of faith in the Lions quarterback going forward.