Lions can dump Stafford with manageable cap charge

AP

If the future of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is in doubt, the salary-cap consequences for cutting him aren’t.

Based on the contract extension he signed in 2013, the Lions can release him with a post-June 1 cap charge of $5.5 million in 2016 and $5.5 million in 2017. All teams can designate up to two players as a post-June 1 cap charge, clearing them off the roster before that.

Alternatively, the Lions can release Stafford without the June 1 designation for a 2016 cap hit of $11 million; he’d then be off the books for 2017. The Lions also can trade Stafford before June 1 with the same cap hit, again taking him off the books completely for all future cap years.

Of course, it could be hard to find a trade partner, given that Stafford has a $17 million salary in 2016. Given the lack of quality quarterbacks, however, a team that has strong leadership from the coaching staff or elsewhere on the roster could be intrigued by the possibility of getting Stafford.

Ultimately, Stafford will have options, either at $17 million or whatever he can get on the open market. For him to have an option in Detroit, the coach will have to want him. Before we can know the answer to that question, we’ll need to know who the coach is.

59 responses to “Lions can dump Stafford with manageable cap charge

  1. Recent performance aside, it would be stupid to let him walk.

    Keep him, draft a QB in the second or third and have a true competition for once. That would be the smart play. But, of course, we’re talking about the Lions.

  2. stafford is the most overrated qb in the league..as he’s proven he’s nothing without megatron

  3. I have no doubt there are plenty of teams that would take him. How many QB’s are available out there that have thrown for 5k yards and is also the fastest to 20k yards? Cleveland, Texas, SF, Jags, Bears, Jets, Bills, the list goes on. There are probably more teams that would snap him up in a heartbeat than those that wouldn’t.

  4. Gee. Assume Stafford and Bradford are available to the Jets, Bills, Washington, SF, Texans, and Bears for 2016…wouldn’t you rather take Stafford? Duh.

  5. 4500 yards a season not going to happen what will happen is a serious rebuilding of Detroit’s offensive line give Stafford protection he will flourish.

  6. This is reckless speculation. No team or GM dumps an average QB or better without a better QB on the roster. Even if the Lions draft number 1 overall next year.. They will not have a better alternative. Thus, Stafford will remain a Lion for at least one more year.

  7. So…..I guess with Detroit’s stellar abilities to find quality starting QBs they can just let Stafford walk right? He is the best QB the Lions have had in years. Definitely the best of my 36 years. Plus he still is only 27. But OK dump him and join the Cleveland, Redskin, Buffalo, etc fun house. Not saying he’s some elite QB but just last season the Lions
    lost in the playoffs to the Cowboys on some wacky calls.

  8. They aren’t letting Stanford go. He is not elite, he will never be elite and he is having a bad year but there are no other options. The only reason to speculate about them getting rid if him is if your trying to stir something up or really don’t realize how bad the QB options are in the nfl.

    When there is serious talk about a team like the Ravens getting rid of a guy like Flacco then I will take stuff like this seriously and I’m not a fan of either the lions or stafford

  9. What a dumb title. The Packers can dump Rodgers without a big hit too. Denver and New England are in the same boat. I’m sure they can dump their QBs without too much damage.

  10. You are getting out of hand with this releasing QB reporting. No one in the world believes the Lions would actually cut Matt Stafford! Come on man!

  11. No, just no. Get a gunslinging Offensive coordinator for once in his career. Then lets see after a couple years. The Oline is the problem this year. Sacks come from the left, middle, and right at any given moment. Whats anybody in the world to do. Get the line fixed. Get a HC that knows when the defender bats the ball out of the endzone that is our ball back, and get a gunslinging OC. He threw for 5k and consistently throws over 4500. WHy would you get rid of that? Its not like we have a chance at Aaron Rodgrs or anything. Keep Stafford or youll be begging him back after Kaepernick after a couple season.

  12. And replace him with who? Take a look around the league. It shouldn’t take long to conclude that even if you’re not satisfied with his current production, a better alternative doesn’t currently exist. Fix that miserable line and get a running game. Stafford will be a pro bowl quarterback if those issues are addressed. Oh, I’m not a Lions fan.

  13. I have no doubt there are plenty of teams that would take him. How many QB’s are available out there that have thrown for 5k yards and is also the fastest to 20k yards? Cleveland, Texas, SF, Jags, Bears, Jets, Bills, the list goes on. There are probably more teams that would snap him up in a heartbeat than those that wouldn’t.
    _________________________________________

    I know Cutler has been a bit of a punchline at times, but do you seriously think the Bears would trade one over-priced QB who turns the ball over too much for another? Especially when Cutler has been playing quality football lately? Is he Aaron Rodgers? No. Is he closer to being Aaron Rodgers than Stafford? Yes.

  14. tjacks7 says:
    Nov 5, 2015 6:24 PM
    This is reckless speculation. No team or GM dumps an average QB or better without a better QB on the roster. Even if the Lions draft number 1 overall next year.. They will not have a better alternative. Thus, Stafford will remain a Lion for at least one more year.
    ____________________________________

    I do agree that they wouldn’t get a better result from anyone else, but maybe that’s the point. Why keep the Stafford 27-year old at $17 million (who’s supposed to be at his prime at his age) when you can draft Michigan favorite Connor Cook (22 years old) for a lot less money and get the same result, especially if you can get something in return for trade?

    I am a Matthew Stafford fan, but it might be best for both sides to move on. Detroit seems like they’re about to blow up the whole organization; complete culture change coming from scratch.

  15. Stafford isn’t the problem. The OL leaks on the pass and gets no push on the run. The play calling is predictable and neither highlight’s Stafford’s strong arm nor covers for OL inadequacies (roll outs, draws, misdirection anyone?).

    In 40 years of watching NFL this is apparent to me: you need either a great OL and a good D or a great D and a good OL to win. The rest of the players can be merely competent.

  16. 1. get rid of Stafford

    2. Start spending #1 draft picks (or more) to find a replacement QB

    3. Maybe in 5-8 years the Lions will find a decent QB (at a cost of 3 #1s for example)

    Is that really worth it?

    OR

    use the draft picks to strengthen the team.

    Everyone wants a stud QB. For every Stud there are many duds, that waste years of a teams time (look at the NY Jets with Sanchez and Geno Smith), plus waste valuable picks.

    Better to have a Tier 2 QB, and a few good players, than to spend pick after pick chasing QBs.

  17. The Lions cannot dump Stafford.

    You guys just made the playoffs last year. This league has no patience anymore, thats why bad teams stay bad.

    Look, Im a Vikings fan, we havent had stability at QB for a long time until now. Trust me, you guys do NOT want to go through the Carosuel.

    C’mon man. Stafford is a Top 10 QB if he is in a vacuum. Quit pulling the ripcord early if you want to return to earth sooner. I always looked forward to playing the Lions when Stafford is under center, you make the guy throw 50 times a game with no o-line or running game what do you expect to happen!!?

    Unreal. I am a fan of competition and we had something good brewing up here in the Black and Blue division, and now the Lions are going to push the implode button NOW???

    A Still image of the Pontiac Silverdome in its current condition pretty much sums up the Lions “organization”. What a bummer man.

  18. If the Lions dump Stafford without a legit replacement on the roster I’m don’t with the team. I watched 20+ years of absolutely horrible QB play. Fans who complain about Stafford have obviously forgotten, Charlie batch, mike McMahon, John kitna, Joey Harrington, Scott Mitchell, Andre effing ware, etc. Stafford is no Peyton manning, but I’d rather watch him than any other Lions QB in my lifetime.

  19. i feel like it’d be good for both sides to split. Stafford can be a good qb, but this whole Lions tenure seems too far gone and the wagon has fallen off the wheels.

    Philly, Wash, Rams come to mind.

    The browns would come to mind, but theyre allergic to good personnel moves

  20. In a world where “solid” QBs are about as easy to come by as leprechauns, why on earth would you get rid of one? Tom Brady he is not, but good luck finding ANY player who is. Outside of Brady and Rodgers there isn’t much else SIGNIFICANTLY better in the field. Draft a kid to sit behind him, hire a good coaching staff, and hope one develops. Stafford is good enough to win with. The lions shouldn’t be this bad.

  21. Isn’t there a game tonight? Aren’t there some this weekend? At best this would be filler stuff on a slow offseason day.

  22. Tough times for the first overall draft picks. Stafford, Bradford, Newton, Luck, all playing like crap. Bradford, Newton, and Luck all have worse passer ratings than Stafford this year, and the recently benched Colin Kaepernick, for that matter. P. Manning and Mike Vick down in the nether regions as well. Whoda thunk Eli Manning and Carson Palmer would be the only first overall QB picks thriving in the league?

  23. I’ll bet he’s got more than 77 yards left in him. We have a first class bus depot in Green Bay, we’ll pick him up there, OK?

  24. Here’s a fantasy — three way trade — revis and Lions’ #1 to NE, Garropolo to Detroit, Stafford to the Jets.

    Commence throwing over ripe fruits and vegetables at any time.

  25. stafford is the most overrated qb in the league..as he’s proven he’s nothing without megatron
    ———————————————————
    Second most overrated QB. Colin Kaeperdink takes the cake as the most overrated QB in the NFL.

  26. Stafford is a Son of Texas and Jerrah Jones ears that up….he also needs a replacement for aging Tony Romo. Stafford for a #1 and a #3.

    Draft Connor Cook. Tate and Megatron will love getting the ball dropped in the hands rather than having to jump high and land on their back all the time chasing high hard ones.

  27. Give Stafford a decent OL, and he can be a good QB. He won’t ever be on the same level as Brady or Rodgers, but I’d certainly take him over Flacco. If the Lions do make him available, if I’m the Texans I’d be on the phone in a heart beat.

  28. jackofnotrades says:
    Nov 5, 2015 6:04 PM
    stafford is the most overrated qb in the league..as he’s proven he’s nothing without megatron
    _____________________________________

    In 2014, Megatron missed five games. The Lions went 4-1 in those five games.

    Just sayin’.

  29. brenenostler says:
    Nov 5, 2015 6:40 PM

    I do agree that they wouldn’t get a better result from anyone else, but maybe that’s the point. Why keep the Stafford 27-year old at $17 million (who’s supposed to be at his prime at his age) when you can draft Michigan favorite Connor Cook (22 years old) for a lot less money and get the same result, especially if you can get something in return for trade?

    I am a Matthew Stafford fan, but it might be best for both sides to move on. Detroit seems like they’re about to blow up the whole organization; complete culture change coming from scratch.
    ______________________

    Get the same result? How do you know what you’d get? I’m sure you’ve heard of Joey Harrington and Andre Ware. What about Akili Smith and Jamarcus Russell? I know you’ve heard of peyton manning but what of Ryan Leaf who was thought to be the superior prospect? You can’t take anything for granted.

  30. Dumping Stafford would be stupid. Who would replace him? It’s just like the crap about Tannehill’s contract, there are simply not that many quality QB’s out there. Moreover, it’s the performance of the whole team, offense and defense that can determine the QB’s effectiveness. The defense sets up the offense and there play determines whether a team is playing from behind or with a lead. Yes, a team must have a quality QB, but they must also have a quality team around him as well, and that goes for all QB’s.

  31. Stafford has been a below average QB for a long time including last season when he was ranked in the bottom of the league but it’s always somebody else’s fault why he isn’t producing according to Lions fans. They deserve a losing team with that mentality.

  32. If your starting QB plays all year without significant injuries and has you in the running for the #1 pick when he has been mediocre to bad his whole career besides one year, it’s time to move on. Listen to all the delusional Detroit fans, they really don’t think he’s the problem. He still stares down receivers or flat out just throws it up into double coverage like he always did with Johnson, and you ever thought he gets hit so much maybe because he doesn’t presnap read defenses that well and holds onto the ball too long? I know lineman like Goster Cherilus have left there and have done fine in pass protection with younger QBs to protect. Time to cut him loose and start over with whoever you draft at the top of this next draft at QB because you’re going to have your pick since Stafford is leading you to another really bad record, which makes every year he’s been in the league except 2 and maybe even 1 since he was mediocre last year despite having the best defense in the league backing him up.

  33. Stafford IS NOT going to suddenly “get it” and greatly improve. He is what he is and the Lions know it. The risk is being afraid to take a chance of improving. trade him and really start over.

  34. 12brichandfamous,

    Pretty much. What’s so funny about it for people thinking he’s going to have some magic light bulb go off is that he was this same guy in college. Stacked rosters around him while he underachieved and couldn’t win a national championship. The Detroit offense has had the best receiver of a generation and adequate enough offensive lines with very good defenses backing him up, and he’s been largely mediocre outside of 1 season when just about every QB in the league had career numbers right after the lockout.

  35. Stafford is a known quantity and has proven he can perform when there’s a better line in front of him and he has time to throw. He has his strengths. No guarantee that Connor Cook can be a #1 QB, that’s what was said about Brian Hoyer and Kirk Cousins.

    Stafford is #24 on the QB ratings this week. Below him are Flacco at #25, Bortles at #26, Foles at #27, Kap at #28, Cam Newton at #29, Bradford at #30, Peyton at #31, and Luck at #32.

  36. Connor Cook is not anywhere near talented enough to be a to 5 pick.

    He’s Zach Mettenberger-ish. ugh.

    Draft a LT or shutdown corner and get it right on a good chunk of the other 11 picks they have in 2016, roll with Matty another year without the clown college that has been running the joint and calling plays, and see what happpens.

    Matty is what he is…a gunslinger, not too bright, fratbro kind of lunkhead who has a rocket arm and popgun ability to learn the technical parts and nuances to becoming a guy that adds to his physical talent the ability to win. You can get lucky with a guy like that (Favre) who just makes things happen, or unlucky like the Lions always are.

    Martha went through Allen Park today wearing a Guy Fawkes mask I hear…blew that place up…15 years too late, but her soft hearted and headed hubby and overrated son ran it off the edge in the 2000s+ after 3 previous decades of hugging the curb over the cliffside curve

    I may even forgive her for banning cheerleaders in 1965…

  37. I wouldn’t say dump Stafford for nothing, but it’s pretty clear that he hasn’t reached his potential on the Lions and he probably won’t. I’m almost confident that he would be a great QB on a different team that has to be the right team.

    Put him on the Redskins, the Browns, the Texans, or (maybe) the Bills and the outcome isn’t much different. But, if you send him to someplace like the Cardinals or the Cowboys if either team is forward thinking enough to anticipate replacing their current QBs, and I bet you would watch Stafford flourish.

    At the end of the day much like Cutler for the Bears Stafford is “the enemy you know”. Could you do better? Maybe. Could you do a lot worse? Of course. It’s up to the next GM and coach to decide that.

    I think whoever is in place next needs to use no later than a 3rd rd. pick on a QB and create a REAL COMPETITION for Stafford. Don’t blow your 1st overall pick on Cook or Golf necessarily (they DESPERATELY need a LT to protect whoever comes next), but pick someone that could really challenge Stafford. Give them equal reps in camp and the pre season and decide at the end of it who gets the job. If Stafford loses out, then trade him or cut him at the end of 2017. The last thing the Lions need is to extend Stafford again for big money if he isn’t producing.

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