After a subpar year in 2018, speculation was hot this offseason that the Detroit Lions may consider moving on from Matthew Stafford and draft his replacement as soon as this year.
Anyone paying attention to his contract situation knew it was absurd to think Detroit may move on from their franchise quarterback this offseason. But how long are they tied to Stafford financially? When would it make sense to move on from him if the Lions weren’t convinced of his talent?
ESPN posted an interesting power rankings of quarterbacks on Tuesday. This was no ordinary set of rankings, however. Instead of ranking by talent, they ranked each team by their level of commitment to their starting quarterback, based “almost entirely” on contract situations.
The Detroit Lions came in as the team with the seventh-highest commitment to their quarterback.
“Cutting Stafford after 2019 would cost the Lions $26 million against their salary cap (trading him would cost $20 million), while doing so after 2020 would bring only a $10 million cap hit,” ESPN’s Dan Graziano wrote. “Expect Stafford to quarterback the Lions through at least 2020, though he’s not quite as safe as the guys ahead of him in his tier.”
Graziano certainly has a good point. And the fact that Stafford has no real competition gives credence to their belief in Stafford. However, while they would incur $26 million in dead cap by releasing him next year, they would save $5.5 million. If Detroit struggles in 2019 and find themselves in a top-five pick situation in 2020, a discussion is probably worth having. But anything short of that, it’s probably safe to assume Stafford stays in Detroit until at least 2021.
- Although no Lions players made Pro Football Focus’ 25 best players under 25 list, one made their “Just missed” list. Da’Shawn Hand was the only interior defender named to their 10-man honorable mention team.
- The New York Jets fired their general manager and Vice Preside of Player Personnel on Tuesday. For now, head coach Adam Gase is the interim GM, but this is something to consider as the Jets begin their search:
Jets have fired GM Mike Maccagnan and VP of Player Personnel Brian Heimerdinger, league sources told @jeffdarlington and me. Maccagnan had two years left on his contract.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 15, 2019
Jets are in position to have strong season thanks to Maccagnan and Heimerdinger.
- NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal took a crack at listing the Lions’ 2019 starters, and, admittedly, it’s hard to argue against anything there.
- For those of you banging the drum to bring Jamie Collins to Detroit (see: me, several times), it looks like he’s headed back to New England. They must be fine with his character...
While the #Jets are subtracting, the #Patriots are adding: New England is in talks with free agent LB Jamie Collins that would bring the former 2nd round pick back to the team that made him a star. They traded him in 2016, likely bring him back in 2019.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 15, 2019
- USA TODAY’s Nate Davis believes the Lions are the least-watchable team among the four teams that can’t say no to “Hard Knocks.” (He doesn’t include the 49ers, because there are reports that they will not be featured this year.)
- On Tuesday, retired NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz praised former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell and current general manager Bob Quinn for how they treated his release back in 2016:
Lions convo was awesome and I got to speak freely about one issue I had. They didn’t play me in game 3 so ppl assumed I was hurt. Kind of screwed me. But whatever. I’m totally cool w/them. Treated me well. All I wanted from Giants was this convo.— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) May 15, 2019