The process of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford potentially making an exit from the club he joined via the 2009 NFL Draft has begun.
ESPN's Adam Schefter (h/t Michael Rothstein) reported on Tuesday afternoon that clubs have reached out to the Lions regarding trade proposals involving the signal-caller who turns 33 years old next month. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero previously reported on Stafford's trade request, and ESPN's Jeremy Fowler added that Stafford is keen on joining the Indianapolis Colts following the retirement of veteran Philip Rivers.
According to ESPN, the Lions wish to receive "fair market value" for Stafford's services. As noted by Spotrac co-founder and editor Michael Ginnitti, Stafford is on a team-friendly contract through the 2022 season considering his time and overall production in the league:
Matthew Stafford has 2 yrs, $43M remaining on his contract with the #Lions including a $10M roster bonus due March 21st. There’s $19M of dead cap to be left with Detroit, who have paid Stafford $226.4M since drafting him #1 overall in 2009 https://t.co/4DC96J5p2k— Spotrac (@spotrac) January 23, 2021
Trading for Stafford prior to March 21st means cap hits of $10M in 2021, $23M in 2022 initially, but a restructure would likely be in order.— Spotrac (@spotrac) January 23, 2021
On Monday, BetOnline.ag listed the Colts and San Francisco 49ers as the favorites to land Stafford during the offseason. The Colts won 11 games with Rivers under center but fell to the Buffalo Bills on wild-card Saturday. Despite that setback, Indianapolis would remain a popular pick to make a run toward a Super Bowl appearance with Stafford on its roster.