It appears Matthew Stafford may have played his last game as the quarterback for the Detroit Lions.
As first reported by NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and further confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions and Stafford have agreed to part ways this offseason.
“After meetings in recent weeks in which Stafford expressed a desire for a fresh start, the Lions understood his position and plan to begin discussing trade options in the coming weeks for their star quarterback, per sources,” Pelissero wrote on Saturday night.
Both new general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell spoke about Stafford’s status this week, and while both mentioned how impressed they were by his talents, they left the option open of moving him this offseason.
“I need to sit down with Brad (Holmes),” Campbell said. “Here’s what I’ll say about Matthew is man, he’s a stud, all right. He’s a stud. He’s one of the toughest quarterbacks you’ll ever see. He’s extremely talented.”
This story is developing. But for now, it looks like the Stafford era is over.
UPDATE: Per a league source, here’s how things went down. Stafford told the Lions at the end of the season that he thought this was a good time for him to be traded. Both general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell were aware of this situation prior to taking the jobs in Detroit.
It’s also worth noting that the Lions still could keep him. They are, reportedly, looking for “fair market value,” and if they don’t get it, they could hold onto him.
That being said, there are a lot of quarterback-needy teams out there right now. It’s hard to imagine the Lions not getting a pretty hefty deal from someone.