DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 15: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions jogs onto the field after the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field on December 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated Detroit Lions 38-17. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
After over a decade, Matthew Stafford is on his way out in Detroit.
As first reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Stafford and the Detroit Lions have mutually agreed to part ways this offseason. Stafford privately conveyed to team officials that, in light of the hiring of a new regime, he felt it was an appropriate time to move on and seek a fresh start. Lions officials agreed, and will begin to explore trade negotiations in the weeks to come.
Stafford has two years and $43 million remaining on his contract, and he has performed well when healthy. He started all 16 games in 2020, throwing for over 4,000 yards for the first time since 2017. Stafford is also known for his durability, having started all 16 games in all but one season since 2011.
Rumors that Stafford is ready to move on have lingered for some time. He turns 33 at the start of February, and was unlikely to want to sit through another rebuild in Detroit while he’s still playing at a fairly high level. He figures to attract a significant market once the Lions start actively shopping him.