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The Detroit Lions will have plenty of tough decisions to make this offseason with a new front office, including a new coach and new general manager.
One massive decision concerns the quarterback spot and whether the team wants to bring back veteran Matthew Stafford, who will be 33 in February.
Stafford is under contract for three more seasons with the Lions, and he will count as $21.3 million towards the team’s salary cap in 2021.
If the team does want to move on from Stafford and either find a quarterback in the draft or via free agency, they will have plenty of homework to do.
As far as Stafford’s future, franchise quarterbacks are hard to find, and some think that Stafford has gotten a raw deal with a less than stellar roster in Detroit.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote recently that one team that could be a fit for Stafford is Indianapolis, which currently has Philip Rivers starting under center.
“The Colts can choose to run it back with Rivers. But the long-term answer at quarterback might finally await them,” Fowler wrote.
“I think they signed Philip Rivers to one year for a reason — they saw it as a stopgap,” said an AFC exec of Rivers, who has passed for 4,005 yards with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. “He can still play, but mobility is an issue. They’ve been pretty methodical and waiting for the right time to strike. This could be the time [at quarterback].
“Enter Stafford, whose trade viability has never felt more palpable after 12 years in Detroit.”
The Colts will have to address the quarterback situation sooner or later, as Rivers is already 39 and could be a one-and-done after inking a one-year deal last offseason worth $25 million.
Stafford at 33 could be a younger but comparable option price-wise for the Colts, a team that could also look to the draft for a future signal caller.
If the Lions do put Stafford on the trade block, other teams like Carolina, New England, Denver and possibly even Chicago will surely be in the mix for his services.