24 November 2020

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The True Plan Behind the Matthew Stafford Trade Rumors

Earlier this week, reports came out that the Detroit Lions may be shopping their 11-year franchise Quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Before Stafford’s injury halfway through the season, he was having a career year. In just eight games, he threw for 2,499 yards. In the eight weeks he played, Detroit’s record was 3-4-1. When Stafford was injured, the Lions went 0-8. Stafford has proven to be one of the best Quarterbacks in the league, and everyone would know it if he wasn’t on the Lions. 

So, with Detroit’s franchise Quarterback having arguably the best season of his career, why would the Detroit Lions want to trade him? The answer is: They don’t. General manager, Bob Quinn had stated that the trade rumors are “100% false!” but that didn’t stop the trade rumors from piling in. Bob Quinn’s statement seemed to continue the rumors, however, there is a real reason why there have been rumors about Stafford being traded.

(Photo: Christian Petersen, Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions finished the season 3-12-1 and landed themselves the third pick in the draft. Joe Burrow is a sure-thing to go first overall to Cincinnati. The second pick in the draft belongs to the Washington Redskins. There is more gray area in what the Redskins might do with the pick. The general census is that Chase Young is going to go second to the Redskins, but Washington has reportedly been open to trading down for multiple picks. The Miami Dolphins have been the main pursuers for the second pick as they have been quite interested in Alabama Quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.

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Tua is one of the best Quarterbacks in the draft. He is injury-prone, but he has one of the highest ceilings out of any player. In the nine games he played this season, he had a career-best passer completion rating and has a TD-Interception ratio of 11-1 on the season.

The Dolphins are a rebuilding team that lacks a true Quarterback, having Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starter. They need a nice, young Quarterback to really get this rebuild underway. The Dolphins had been reportedly interested in trading up to the second pick to get Tua.

Joseph Mariorana/ USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions desperately hoping to draft Chase Young at the third spot, because they could really use the Defensive Tackle. Young is known as the best player in the draft and he is the perfect fit for the Lions who may just be a few players away from making the playoffs. Combining Young on the line with Darius Slay on the secondary makes for some dangerous potential on Detroit’s defense.

The Lions had major problems on defense last year. Their offense was not an issue at all, scoring less than 10 points only once on the season. The problem was on defense. There was no game in the 2019 season where the Lions held the opposing team to under 10 points. The Lions seemed to have half of a defense with Darius Slay, Mike Daniels, Damon Harrison, and Trey Flowers. Harrison looks like he may be finished with Detroit and a perfect replacement as the Tackle.

(Photo: Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports)

The way things are, there is only one way that the Lions could land Chase. The Dolphins would need to trade up for Tua, but why would Miami do that if the Lions and Giants both have their Quarterbacks for the next five years? That’s where the Lions have their plan come in. Shopping Stafford would only mean one thing: they’re interested in a new, young Quarterback. 

The Fords, who own the Lions, are beyond loyal to the Staffords and probably have no interest in actually trading him, but if the Dolphins even think there’s a chance of Detroit taking their future franchise Quarterback, the Dolphins may impulsively trade up to the second pick.

The Redskins don’t need a single superstar the way the Lions do. The Lions have plenty of talent with Darius Slay and Trey Flowers, so they really are just a few pieces away from being a solid team. The illusion that they’re ready for a new Quarterback is probably not true, but they sure as hell want the Dolphins to think it is. The Dolphins have two First-Round picks in the draft that could intrigue Washington as they’re in need of lots of young, talented players to surround Dwayne Haskins. 

(AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

The Lions trading Stafford is an illusion. Anyone who thinks that the Lions are going to trade Stafford and take Tua is about to get a reality check. Stafford is only 31, so he has several years left on him. What they need is the pieces around him and Chase Young is one of the best pieces to get. The Lions are trying to pressure Miami into trading up so that the Redskins don’t take Chase Young.

Detroit getting Chase Young will put them back on the map. Young will make an impact for their Defensive Line right out of the gate. Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia need to have a winning record this season in order to keep their jobs, so what better way to kick off the off season than by drafting the best player in the draft?

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 29: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions watches the replay boars during the fourth quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Ford Field on September 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Kansas City defeated Detroit 34-30. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Stafford is not going anywhere, but if the possibility remains that he might, the Dolphins may just trade up to secure Tua as their selection. This draft is going to be very interesting. We will see how it plays out.

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