San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan admits he wasn’t happy about it when the Rams reached a deal to acquire Matthew Stafford this offseason, both because it made a division rival better and because the 49ers thought they could make a move to land Stafford.
Appearing with Rams coach Sean McVay and Peter Schrager on the Flying Coach podcast, Shanahan said he was upset when he found out the Rams landed Stafford.
“That was frustrating,” Shanahan said. “Everyone was telling me it was a possibility, and Stafford is the man. I studied him hard coming out of college, and we played against him so we know how good he is.”
It was already known that the 49ers were one of several teams that showed interest in trading for Stafford, but Shanahan hadn’t previously made clear how much he wanted Stafford, and how disappointed he was when the Rams made a deal with the Lions first. Shanahan said the 49ers had been in touch with Stafford’s agent, Tom Condon, but didn’t realize that the Rams were so close to getting a deal done. Shanahan said that on the night the Rams and Lions agreed to their deal, someone in the know called him and told him, “If you want Stafford you need to get a hold of him right now,” and then only minutes later the news broke that the deal was done.
McVay said he was as surprised as Shanahan was at how quickly the Rams and Lions were able to make the agreement, which sent Stafford to the Rams for Jared Goff, two first-round picks and a third-round pick.
“If it makes you feel any better, it came together faster than I thought, too, Kyle,” McVay told Shanahan.
Shanahan and the 49ers eventually made a big move for a quarterback and traded up in the draft to take Trey Lance, but if Stafford leads the Rams to a couple of wins over the 49ers this year, Shanahan may view Stafford as the one who got away.