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Lions may move on from Matthew Stafford this offseason

The Detroit Lions have a big decision to make this offseason, as a new regime decides the future of quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Come February, Matthew Stafford will be 33 years old.

The Detroit Lions have enjoyed a decade of great play from their quarterback, but the time may be coming to make a significant move.

Stafford is signed for the next two years, at $33 million and $26.6 million respectively. The Lions can move on and while the dead cap is $25 million over the life of the deal, it’s palatable considering the rebuild Detroit is about to embark upon.


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On Tuesday, new general manager Brad Holmes talked to the press for the first time, and while he was complimentary of Stafford and his abilities, there was no firm answer about him being in Motown come 2021, per

“Matthew, great player. And what you really appreciate is, I think the talent level is easy to see, but you really appreciate how intangibles show on film, how urgent he plays, how competitive he is, the toughness that he shows,” Holmes said Tuesday. “But it is my job to evaluate the entire roster, and through that process, I have not had any discussions with Matt or any players for that matter. So I just want to be fair to the process and make sure that we evaluate that thoroughly, but obviously, Matt, very good football player.”


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Picking No. X overall, the Lions aren’t likely to land quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence of Clemson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields in the NFL Draft to replace Stafford without trading up and giving away other important assets. However, there’s a chance BYU’s Zach Wilson is on the board, along with Trey Lance of North Dakota State. Lastly, if Holmes did want to be bold and move up for Fields (or somehow Lawrence) he could trade Stafford for a couple of top-100 picks — potentially even a first-round choice — to get more ammo.

Of course, the Lions could also decide to stick with Stafford one more season if nothing else, and then move on before 2022 when his dead money is only $6 million. He would still be a valuable trade piece if playing well, or a bridge to the next quarterback before his contract ran out.

The Lions have options, and judging from the comments out of Detroit, they’re open to all of them. As they should be.

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