In 12 seasons since the Lions drafted quarterback Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick in the NFL draft, they made the playoffs three times. They lost in the wild card round all three times.
Now Stafford is about to get traded to the Rams, and although he says, “I never thought I would ever finish my career anywhere else,” he also acknowledges that he wants to go somewhere that he can actually play in big games and win.
“I’ve always wanted to play in those big games, I feel like I will excel in those situations,” he told Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press. “I wanted to shoot my shot.”
Stafford said he and his wife had a feeling a year ago that the Lions were probably going to be heading into yet another rebuild, and he figured both he and the team would be better off with a trade.
“To be honest, Kelly and I probably started talking about it before last season. It was one of those things where, you know, we were hoping that, golly, let’s go, I hope this thing takes off and we play great. But if it doesn’t, you just knew what was going to happen. They were going to tear it down and rebuild,” Stafford said. “And any time you switch GMs and a head coach, you know that they’re going to want to bring their own people in, and that’s going to take time. And I, frankly, didn’t feel like I was the appropriate person to oversee that time.”
So the Lions will get Jared Goff, a third-round pick and two first-round picks for that rebuild. And Stafford will find out if he can win a big game with the Rams.