Matthew Stafford will more than likely be with a new team to start the 2021 season, as the quarterback and the Detroit Lions have mutually agreed to part ways. At this point, it’s just a matter of figuring out which new team that’s going to be.
Several NFL franchises make sense for the longtime Lion, but Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports highlighted five potential landing spots on Monday morning. Those teams are as follows:
- Washington Football Team
- Indianapolis Colts
- San Francisco 49ers
- New England Patriots
- Denver Broncos
All of these seem like logical destinations. I’ll also add that the Pittsburgh Steelers are another logical landing spot — at least potentially. It will ultimately come down to what happens with Ben Roethlisberger, but Stafford would be an upgrade at this point.
Dajani does a great job diving into why each of the five teams included in his article make sense. Whether it’s a connection to the general manager or simply a major need for the franchise, each one of those teams would not be surprising.
The most intriguing of that group, however, are the Indianapolis Colts. One of the major issues with Stafford’s time in Detroit has been the offensive line. It hasn’t been unable to provide adequate protection for him — at least not consistently.
Stafford has taken a beating as a result, but that could be resolved in Indianapolis.
Yes, the Colts are looking for a replacement for longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo, and that is a concern. If they can find a serviceable replacement though, the rest of the line is rock solid.
Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski and Braden Smith have all been fantastic, and that unit could provide some much-needed stability in front of Stafford. Plus, the supporting cast at the skill positions is at least a start.
Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr. and Jack Doyle all have varying skill sets that could be valuable for a quarterback like Stafford, though a couple more pieces are needed. But it’s a really nice start when adding in the offensive line and a strong complementary defense.
The Colts already traded a first-round pick for a talented player in 2020. His name: DeForest Bucker, and he proved to be well worth it. Maybe the front office can make it happen again.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.