Although the tampering rules prevent Arians from expressing interest in signing Stafford if/when the Lions release him, Arians’ didn’t need to. His over-the-top praise makes it obvious.
“He’s one of my all-time favorite guys,” Arians told reporters regarding Stafford. “He’s tough as nails. Like I said the other day, he’s one of the few quarterbacks I like going out and watching warm up. Just watching him throw because he’s so special. I’ve always felt like he was one of the top four or five guys in this league for a long time. Like I said, he’s tough as nails and his guys know it. They know he’s going to suck it up for them.”
The Buccaneers play the Lions on Saturday. Stafford’s future in Detroit remains uncertain. The new coach and G.M. may want to move on. Stafford may want to move on.
If either happens and Stafford does move on, Arians may be ready to give Stafford a landing spot. And, yes, maybe that was a passive-aggressive message to Brady, who is just petty enough to be privately miffed by the public praise for Stafford.