- Odds have been set on what team veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford will be playing for in Week 1 of the 2021 season
- Stafford has spent his entire 12-year career with the Lions, who have agreed to trade him
- A look at the Stafford odds along with analysis can be found below
It appears Matthew Stafford will have a new home for the 2021 season after spending the first 12 seasons of his career with the Detroit Lions.
The 32-year-old quarterback has reportedly asked the Lions to consider trading him. The new management team of general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell plan to oblige the request.
Odds have been set on where Stafford will begin next season.
Matthew Stafford’s Team in Week 1 of 2021 Season Odds
|San Francisco 49ers||+250|
|Washington Football Team||+500|
|New Orleans Saints||+1500|
|New York Jets||+3300|
Odds taken Jan. 23
The Lions selected Stafford with the first overall pick in the 2009 Draft from Georgia a year after becoming the first team in NFL history to finish a season with an 0-16 record.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) April 27, 2017
The hope was Stafford could lift a franchise that has not won a league championship since 1957 or reached the Super Bowl since its inception following the 1966 season. In fact, the Lions have won only one playoff game since that championship season, beating the Dallas Cowboys in an NFC divisional round game in 1991.
Stafford has helped lead the Lions to the postseason three times, but they lost in the wild card round in 2011, 2014 and 2016. Detroit has a regular season record of 74-90-1 with Stafford as the starter.
However, Stafford became the 16th quarterback in NFL history to reach 45,000 career yards in the Lions’ regular season finale this season. He did so in 165 games, making him the fastest to reach the milestone.
The only QBs in NFL history with 45,000+ passing yards and less than 150 INT:
• Aaron Rodgers
• Matthew Stafford
end of list pic.twitter.com/bqcBYtH4Ln
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 23, 2021
Solid 2020 Season
The Lions went 5-11 this season, which was marked by the firing of coach Matt Patricia following a Thanksgiving debacle in which the Lions lost 41-25 to the lowly Houston Texans on national television.
Stafford had a solid year as he completed 64.2% of his passes for 4,084 yards and 26 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Yet that was not enough to keep the Lions from a third straight losing season.
Stafford finished 12th in the league in yards and TDs. His 96.3 passer rating was 14th. Pro Football Focus gave Stafford a grade of 82.0, which was also 14th.
Absolute filthy throw by Matthew Stafford 🔥
— Football Tweets 🏈 (@FBForL) January 23, 2021
That came after Stafford had a career best passer rating of 106.0 in 2019, though his season was limited to eight games because of back and hip injuries. He threw for 2,499 yards and 19 TDs with five INTs.
While it looks like Stafford still has something left and would be an attractive option for a QB-needy team, he won’t come cheaply.
The Lions are said to want a first-round draft pick in any trade package. Stafford also has two years remaining on his five-year, $135-million contract with cap numbers of $33 million in 2021, $26 million in 2022 and $3 million in 2023.
What could complicate the Lions’ attempt to trade Stafford is that one of the league’s top quarterbacks, the Texans’ Deshaun Watson, has also requested a trade. Watson figures to be a more attractive option to teams as he is 25 and coming off a season in which he led the league with 4,825 yards passing.
🔀 Where will Deshaun Watson play next season?🤨
— Thomas Pocrnic (@ThomasPocrnic) January 22, 2021
Yet there should still be a market for Stafford as many teams could use an upgrade at quarterback.
The San Francisco 49ers are the favorites to land Stafford. However, they may not necessarily see Stafford as a major upgrade over Jimmy Garappolo.
Following the retirement of Philip Rivers, the Indianapolis Colts make sense as a destination for Stafford. The Colts still have Jacoby Brissett, but he proved underwhelming as a starter in 2019.
Always opinionated, never boring, with a love of football he'll carry with him as a coach.
Congrats on a great career Philip Rivers! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/htzAzFIk5C
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) January 20, 2021
The Denver Broncos have a new GM in George Paton and he may want to move on from inconsistent Drew Lock. Yet Paton may not want to give up the ninth overall draft pick.
The Washington Football Team won the NFC East, though its record was 7-9 and it used four different starting quarterbacks. Stafford would make a lot of sense here as he would be an upgrade over Alex Smith and the rest of the WFT QBs.
Surprisingly, no odds have been given on the New England Patriots, who have a big hole at QB following Cam Newton’s flop this season.
While New England would seem like the best fit, the top value play of the teams on the board is Washington. The Football Team has an outstanding young defense, but Stafford would make the offense much more dynamic and give coach Ron Rivera’s team a better opportunity to play complementary football.