Its time for Detroit to move on from Matt Stafford

It’s Time For Detroit To Move Away From Matt Stafford

  • Detroit Lions
  • Jeff Okudah
  • Joe Burrows
  • Justin Fields
  • Justin Herbert
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Trevor Lawrence
  • Tua Tagovailoa
By Freddie Hall May 30, 2020 0 Comment

The Detroit Lions have wasted too much time with quarterback Matt Stafford.

The former 1st overall pick promised to change the Lions fortunes. Unfortunately, Matt Stafford has been unable to do so thus far. Even if he has a successful year, Detroit needs something fresh and new. With promising quarterbacks like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields entering the 2021 draft, now is the time for the Lions to look toward the future.

There may even be talented quarterbacks entering free agency in 2021 that the Lions would be wise to take a look at also. Ultimately, it is time for Detroit to start looking for a new face of their franchise.

Matt Stafford doesn’t have a modern-day skill set

Stafford is not a modern-day quarterback. Outside of talents like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, athleticism is a critical factor to play quarterback in the modern NFL. When you look around the league at young successful quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes they all share this quality.

Quarterbacks do still need to have a good arm and Stafford certainly has one, proven by his 41,025 career passing yards. Stafford has been surrounded by some outstanding skills players throughout his career. Players like Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones have provided skill in the receiving positions. Quarterbacks around the NFL have done more with less talent.

Time for something new

The Detroit Lions franchise is in desperate need of some excitement. Fans hate stale organizations and franchises that are content with mediocrity. Since Stafford was drafted, the Lions have been on three playoff runs in 11 years all of which have been ended in the Wildcard round. Two of those games were blowouts. They lost to the New Orleans Saints 45-28 in 2011 and to the Seattle Seahawks 26-6 in 2016.

Belief did circulate that the 2019 NFL Draft would be the one that the Lions finally moved away from Stafford. With the 3rd pick in the draft, they had the opportunity to select talented quarterbacks like Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert. Perhaps they could have engineered a trade to try to steal the critically acclaimed Joe Burrows. Instead they drafted talented cornerback Jeff Okudah.

Injury also has to be a concern for the Lions. Stafford’s last game was week 9 of the 2019 Season. He missed the rest of the season with a hip injury and fractured bones in his back. Injuries like this could possibly affect Stafford in the future. Before this season-ending injury, Stafford was 6th on the all-time consecutive starts list in the NFL regular season with 136 consecutive starts.

Stability at the quarterback position usually translates into success with seven of the ten quarterbacks in that list having won a Super Bowl. Stafford is obviously not one of those seven. Thus, even if goes injury-free and is stable this will just be more of the same for Detroit.

What’s next for Matt Stafford

Matt Stafford is talented and a good quarterback, but life and excitement needs to be reignited in Detroit. The fans have been patient and have hoped season after the season that it will be their year. Continuous failure to have a strong playoff run means the Lions fans are owed by the organization to take a new direction.

For Matt Stafford to remain the quarterback for the foreseeable future they must achieve playoff success. Their current roster is not capable enough to reach a Super Bowl.

However, if you make the playoffs and at least win the first game, the Lions may feel they could squeeze the last drop of juice out of Stafford.

The odds may not be in Stafford’s favor however. Current head coach Matt Patricia is on the hot seat this season. Failure in 2020 may mean a new coach and a new direction for the franchise. This would all but signal the end for Matt Stafford. Stafford is signed through the 2022 season but has an option to opt out of his contract after the upcoming season. Should the Lions opt out of Staffords contract, it would leave them with $19 million in dead cap space.  Stafford’s cap hit the next two season are $26 million and $33 million via spotrac. Should Stafford and the Lions have another poor year, Detroit may see a new face under center in 2021

Teams in the NFL that take risks seem to be reaping the rewards. When you look at the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills they all took risks on their new franchise quarterbacks and reeping the rewards of Mahomes, Jackson and Allen.

Green Bay drafted their quarterback of the future this year. Maybe the Detroit Lions should take a page out of their divisional rival’s book and start looking towards their future.

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