Where did report of Matthew Stafford trade talks come from?

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Bernie Smilovitz of WDIV-TV in Detroit rocked the football-following world with his report that the Lions have been engaged in trade talks involving quarterback Matthew Stafford. So where did this one come from?

Earlier, we shared the theory regarding efforts by agents to exploit the looming quarterback chaos by floating the phony notion that the Lions are looking to trade Stafford. But the report from Smilovitz was clear: He cited not a league source generally but he specifically mentioned unnamed sources close to both Stafford and the Lions in support of the report.

Making the report even more intriguing is the fact that the story quietly has been revised to omit the reference to sources close to Stafford. (The tweet posted by the station shows the original language of the story.) Currently, the story cites only sources close to the Lions.

Making the report even more intriguing is the fact that the Lions don’t know Smilovitz. Per multiple sources, G.M. Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia don’t know Smilovitz at all. Likewise, he’s not a regular at team press conferences or locker-room availability. Also, he didn’t seek comment from the Lions before publishing the story.

Quinn has said that the report is “100% false!!” And while no team that is thinking about trading a player can do anything that deny such considerations, this time it’s the truth. Beyond the $32 million in dead money that would be triggered by trading Stafford, the Lions want him. He’s a top-10 quarterback, and if the Lions are going to turn things around this year, they need Stafford.

30 responses to “Where did report of Matthew Stafford trade talks come from?

  1. Simple draft nonsense, they are trying to play the teams that want either Tua or Burrows should he fall. His dead cap number is beyond franchise killing for a coach and gm on the hot seat.

  2. They are nist trying to get someone to bite on trading up. Nonsense and Stafford isn’t going anywhere. He is a top 10 QB that you never hear about.

  3. Ugh… ‘smoke screen’ season is like Christmas… each year, it begins earlier and earlier. It could be Labor Day and you’ll be seeing stores with Christmas stuff. The draft is more than 2 months away and we already got teams setting up draft talk.

  4. He’s been the most overrated QB in the NFL for 10 years. All other QB’s who’ve never won anything for that length of time has since been long gone.

  5. Ya, and Bernie hasn’t been a local sportscaster for 40 years. It’s smokescreen season and the Lions want Chase Young.

  6. They’re on the hook for 13 million either way, so trading him costs them the difference from 32, so 19 in cap this year. Couple that with a cheap rookie QB – Tua – and and additional draft picks for Stafford, that’s not crazy town. Unlikely, but seems doable.

  7. Kind of a tricky spot for the Lions. There’s just enough ambiguity about Stafford’s ceiling and they have a high enough draft spot that they could realistically draft a high-end successor.

    I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Florio, that Stafford is still their best chance for success, and they might actually accomplish some if they build a better team around him.

  8. If Dallas had Stafford, say for the last 4 years. They would have 4 Superbowls. He’s never had a better than average oline or rb. I hate Dallas, Jerruha, Zeke, and everything about Dallas but it’s true. He’s the only reason the Lions are watchable. If you think the Lion’s are bad, just imagine how bad they’d be with Mitch, Kirk, or Dak.

  9. Lions are going to turn things around this season with Stafford? Well what exactly have they been doing the last decade? The excuses have run out. Trade him!

  10. Over the past 10 years, Stafford’s been sacked how many hundred times? The combination of lack of a running game and not-fantastic offensive line has resulted in him taking a beating, week after week. It’s just now catching up with him. Playing behind Detroit’s offensive line, he may not finish next season.

    Can a top 3 QB draft choice take the Lions to the playoffs next year? What could you get for Stafford in terms of defensive talent and draft picks?

  11. It’s a catch-22 with Stafford, he looks good when he has help but his salary prevents the team from getting or retaining that health

    They face a similar dilemma with Slay

  12. To be clear.. People who think he is not and has not been a top 10 QB throughout his career are idiots who do not understand QB play and/or football. Most likely the type of fans who rather play fantasy football than appreciate the talent involved in the game. He has be saddled with bad coaching and teams for most of his career and truly has been wasted. Just has Rivers has been in LA. It is amazing just how ignorant people are.

  13. It’s not ignorance because you don’t agree, you’re just in denial.

    Stafford isn’t even close to being a top 10 QB. He’s been in the league for 12 years and has ZERO playoff wins.

    He’s one hit away from the end of his average at best career. Lions need to draft a QB ASAP. Then they need at least 3 more years of consecutive successful drafts to compete again.

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