With Lions cleaning house, Matthew Stafford’s future is in doubt


It was less than a week ago that then-Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew said it was “comical” to suggest quarterback Matthew Stafford wasn’t a part of the future with the Lions.

Of course, Mayhew was just fired, so that means everything is up in the air in Detroit.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Stafford’s future there is “very much in doubt” after the rash of firings that have most recently claimed Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand.

And while you can debate Stafford’s merits on their own, there’s no reason his future should be secure. He’s under contract through 2017, and there would be a significant dead money hit if they cut him or traded him after this season. But Stafford will also have value to others (the law of supply and demand dictates), which could bring back pieces needed for the rebuild.

But dead money can’t be the primary concern for a dysfunctional franchise, not if they want to fix it.

Just as any new G.M. will want a say in his next head coach, he’ll want to pick his own quarterback as well. Any time there’s change at the top, incumbents become scarce.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell is safe for now, but that might be as simple as needing someone to coach ’em up for the remaining eight games, and darn it, Jim Bob Cooter can only do so much. He has three names, but he’s just one man.

51 responses to “With Lions cleaning house, Matthew Stafford’s future is in doubt

  1. Stafford isn’t going anywhere.
    His problems all stem from the terrible offensive line play. Watching the games, he does fine until the other teams dial up the blitz and Stafford gets pounded into oblivion.

  2. So, I heard that Cardwell told them the story about how the Ravens fired their OC in 2012, and went on to win the Super Bowl.

    Fired their OC last week, didn’t work. Keep firing until you catch fire.

  3. Its not Staffords fault….he plays his tail off and hes surrounded by ok people but not game changers other then Calvin…the windows closing for him and they understandably let Suh walk and Fairly left as well on D. ……..I would say its more coaching then Stafford along with terrible drafting and free agency decisions…. but who am I

  4. How can we put so “doom and gloom” to that franchise? This team just made it to the playoffs and almost winning it as well but for the Jerry call.

    This franchise has all the pieces, The challenge would be cap management.

  5. Matthew Stafford is what he is. Unfortunately the Lions needed the face of a franchise after 2008 and he was the best of a mediocre litter to choose from.

  6. If you are in a position to draft a great prospect QB high, it’s going to be difficult to pass it up. You can clear cap space and pick up picks for Stafford.

  7. Stafford is not the problem. The GM was the problem. They have no talent on the O line. If the QB can’t set his feet and step into the throw – it isn’t going to be as accurate as you would like.

    Granted, Staff could take a pay cut – but he is above average and should be retained…

    Good job today Mrs. Ford!

  8. Sorry – Ziggy can stay too. It’s stupid when you have to think hard about who to keep when blowing up a team…

  9. It’s not that he’s a terrible QB. But the expectations were much higher. And he got one of the last team killer rookie deals.

  10. Can he throw for more than 77 yards? Then bring him to Green Bay!

  11. Stafford, Jason Smith, Tyson Jackson, Aaron Curry and Mark Sanchez….

    Man, that was a brutal 1st round

  12. That’s eight weeks of opportunity for a prospective candidate General Manager to work closely with Martha Ford to foster a working relationship and showcase their scouting, coaching, and evaluation perspective to demonstrate why she should secure this role of responsibility. (or he, in the event that it’s a man that earns the job)

  13. Stafford is one of the few players that aren’t the problem. Drafting busts around him and hiring a QB coach who has never called plays before was a recipe for failure. Ebron at 10th overall and Kyle Van Noy in the 2nd were absolutely abysmal choices considering the needs. Cutting or trading Stafford before his contract is up (taking on all the dead cap money) would be boneheaded beyond measure.

  14. Stafford is a winner playing behind a Swiss cheese O-line.

    Get him some help and watch out.

  15. Call me crazy, but I think Stafford should stay. He’s had some good seasons here and has flashed potential constantly. Right now, he’s in a similar situation as Kaepernick in San Francisco. Bad offensive line + lack of weapons (or inconsistency from said weapons)/run game = bad quarterback play. His defense has also been playing like total garbage the last few games, too.

    Then again, perhaps the Lions would benefit from getting a quarterback early in the first round? Only thing with this is there are no guarantees (Ponder, Gabbert, Bortles(?)), but you know what you have in Stafford with a good defense (see: 2014).

    Perhaps I’ve seen a few too many good Stafford games, but I think he can still prove valuable to this franchise.

  16. There will be dead money if he is moved, but its barely worth noting since the dead money is about half of his scheduled cap hit.

    Stafford’s cap hit next year is 22.5-mil, his dead money is 11-mil. Therfore cutting or trading Stafford would give the team 11.5-mil in salary cap relief (they are currently projected to have about 25-mil in cap space next year, so moving Stafford would jump cap space to 36-mil, approximately).

    His base salary is high for a 2-year “temporary” fix on another team, so i am not sure if they could actually trade him.

  17. Overrated! He has poor mechanics and a team of receivers who have always made him look better than he is. I wouldn’t put him in top 12 in the NFL. It wouldnt be terrible to drop him.

  18. Unless the Lions have a clear shot at a #1 QB type (think andrew luck) Stafford is not going anywhere. People who say he is are just throwing crap at the wall and hoping something sticks.

  19. Not a lions fan and not a big stafford booster but stafford isn’t going anywhere. Its not that he is that good, its that any alternative is just that bad. There are actually very very few really good QB’s in the league.

    Besides, stafford really isn’t the problem, the root of every problem is bad ownership. Ever notice how teams owned by bad owners are usually bad and even when they have talent they still find a way to shoot themselves in the foot?

    The redskins? The cowboys? The titans? The browns? This GM and President were probably really bad but the fords are going to be the ones hiring the new one; the same owners that hired Matt Millen.

    Unless you can get the Jones and the Fords of the world to fire themselves, nothing is ever going to really change for teams like that.

  20. A new GM may wish to choose his own QB, but looking at what is likely to be available at the end of the season, Stafford may well be the pick of the litter.

    Using a high draft choice to solve the QB issue is perilous. Most of the QBs chosen high in the last 5 years have not panned out, and going the draft route means the Lions’ continuous state of rebuilding will continue at least a few more years.

    The question the Lions need to focus on is how a promising playoff team of last season turned into the disaster foisted on London a few days ago.

  21. I think Stafford is getting the blame for a terrible OLine and not so good coaching staff. I’m a Vikings fan so my comments and opinions only stem from what I see. Truthfully, I think Stafford can be an elite QB. Strong and accurate arm when given time to throw. But his OLine is horrible. By the way, I think the same thing about the Vikings OLine. It’s just that Teddy may be a bit better in avoiding and escaping the sack. Not that he’s a better QB. Just better at running when the line breaks down.

    Like we always said with Barry Sanders, I would love to see Stafford play with a team that has a superior OLine. My bet is we wouldn’t be having this conversation as to whether or not Stafford’s future is up in the air. Hang in there Matt. You’re a class act and always give your all. This isn’t your fault.

  22. There it is, a remark including the Cowboys, in an article not about the Cowboys! Every thread has at least one. Seriously, go look. I love it!

  23. I’m ready to move on. Look at the top tackles selected the last few years. There has not been any difference making talents.

    Stafford is undersized and not aware in the pocket. I’m ready for Cook or Lynch to come in and at least compete for the job. You can’t pass on the chance to get a true franchise qb.

  24. Staffford is an above average, not elite, NFL QB. There are just a handful of elite QBs, and a well-balance team can win (even the SB) with an above average NFL QB. It would be a mistake to move on from Stafford.

  25. Those poor Lions. They just can’t seem to get out of their own way. They had a good coach and fired him. They still had the stellar defense that coach built, then let it all go in FA. They thought Stafford could be Aarodgers, creating a team of one like in Green Bay. Of course the only way that could end was in failure. And to top it off they bring in the only coach with less of a personality than Leslie Frazier to steer the hot mess right down the drain.

    They were so close to having something. I feel bad for them; and that’s coming from a Vikings fan.

  26. All you Bears, Vikings, and Lions fans continue to think your quarterbacks are good – it’s music to the ears of the fans of the 13-Time World Champion Green Bay Packers. Our QB will continue to win games and MVPs. Put that in your peace pipe and smoke it.

  27. How about Stafford to Houston for Brian Hoyer and a draft pick? Neither guy is the answer for their current team, so maybe a change of scenery would work for everybody.

  28. Jim Bob Cooter…”He has three names, but he’s just one man.”

    Now that right there is funny, LOL!!

  29. Stafford’s past shows he can play (under Linehan) when he’s not running for his life every play

  30. Bill Parcell’s at one time coveted the opportunity to rebuild the Lions, but was rebuffed by the WCF Sr. during the Millen era. Bill may not want this gig now. If I’m the Ford family , I’d make a call to Bill Polian. Let him form a team to evaluate every aspect of the Football operations and make recommendations.

  31. “Just as any new G.M. will want a say in his next head coach, he’ll want to pick his own quarterback as well.”

    That idea will likely reduce the number of potential candidates from applying for the HC job, because the coach will want his own quarterback as well. See: Gruden, Kelly, et al. That “new GM” would only be looking for a “yes man”.

    But hey, this also means that Tomsula’s application will bubble to the top…

  32. He needs to be the first person to go when they fire everybody else at the end of the year. He’s 6 years into the career and still can’t read defenses. Throwing it up to Calvin when in doubt doesn’t work anymore because he’s slowing down.

  33. chibimike says:
    Nov 5, 2015 1:21 PM

    Stafford isn’t going anywhere.
    His problems all stem from the terrible offensive line play. Watching the games, he does fine until the other teams dial up the blitz and Stafford gets pounded into oblivion.

    69 20

    Hmm… let’s compare THIS season so far to last season when they were 11 & 5…

    This season, Stafford’s sack % is actually LOWER than last season… sad offensive line has kept him upright MORE than last season.

    Stafford’s completion % this season is 64.5% and it was only 60.3% last season.

    His yards per game is only 5.7 yards less than last season so darn close to a wash.

    His QB rating last season was 85.7 to this seasons 84.1 so it is down a tad…

    While his INT% is higher than last season, so is his TD%…

    All in all, it’s the same Stafford from last season…

  34. Don’t buy the homer slappy hype…I’m a long suffering Lions fan too but Stafford is not a good quarterback. He makes poor decisions, doesn’t see open WR’s downfield and has ZERO touch on his passes. He struggles to even throw a screen pass. This has all been pointed out every time an expert dissects him on tape. Check youtube.

    Granted, the Lions are idiots for not capitalizing on the one thing he does pretty well – throwing a deep ball. The line is too weak and they kept hiring stupid west coast coordinators.

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