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Matthew Stafford on trade request: ‘Hardest conversation I’ve ever had in my life’

Stafford spoke briefly about the trade with local newscaster Hank Winchester.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford joined WDIV’s Hank Winchester earlier this week for a parting interview from inside Ford Field. The interview aired on Wednesday evening on the local NBC affiliate.

It was a short interview and mostly a fluff piece orchestrated by Winchester, who happens to be a friend of the Staffords. Still, it was the kind of media presence we have come to expect from Stafford: short, professional, and not all that insightful.

Here are the main quotes from the feature:

On decision to ask for trade:

“Probably the hardest conversation I’ve ever had in my life. It was a really tough deal. I’ve got to give the Lions a bunch of credit for the way they handled it. I have all the respect in the world for the Ford family.”

On if it was his decision:

“It was mutual. It was something that we both talked about, and I think they wanted to see where my head was, and I obviously expressed that to them, and they understood.”

On landing with the Rams:

“It was honestly one of the few teams I didn’t think was going to be able to make it happen if they wanted to even. The fact that they wanted to was huge, and the fact that they were able to—I think you have to give a lot of credit to the Rams organization, but also the Lions, as well. Being creative and figuring out a way to get it done.”

On one of his favorite memories as a Lion:

“I still remember we played the Chargers in 2011. Made the playoffs, clinched the playoffs with that win here at home for the first time in a bunch of years, and I’ll never forget the crowd.”

Other miscellaneous quotes:

  • “Nothing would’ve made me happier than bringing a Lombardi trophy home to Detroit. It’s not the way it’s going to end, but I still have a ton of great memories.”
  • “Life as I know it now came to be in Detroit. Married. Kids. All of it.”

WDIV will air more on Kelly Stafford’s story and Stafford’s legacy in Detroit on Thursday. You can watch Wednesday’s feature here.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.