Paying his respects to a Motor City legend, first-round wideout Jameson Williams reached out to former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to inherit the coveted No. 9 jersey, following Stafford’s productive 12-season run for the Lions.
Jameson was expected to wear No. 18 until he switched to No. 9 after receiving Stafford’s blessing.
The Alabama wideout was selected by Detroit with No. 12 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Williams is projected to join his Lions teammates in November as he recovers from an ACL tear suffered during this year’s national title game against Georgia.
Stafford holds several Detroit passing records, including most passing yards (45,109) and passing touchdowns (282) by a Lions QB. He was traded to the Los Angeles Rams last offseason — leaving behind a legacy for the Lions to reminisce on as LA and Stafford marched their way to a Super Bowl LVI victory in 2021.
Last offseason, the Rams sought to trade for Stafford after several seasons of falling short of head coach Sean McVay’s vision for a championship, largely due to previous starter Jared Goff’s inconsistency.
Detroit agreed to let Stafford build a legacy with a different team after several seasons of exceptional individual play that still couldn’t lift Detroit above water as a dysfunctional franchise.
More interesting than Jameson’s bid for Stafford’s number is the story behind Rams HC Sean McVay recruiting Stafford while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas.
Several tequila shots in, McVay gave Stafford a FaceTime ring and delivered a passionate speech on why he should join the Rams — which resulted in a Super Bowl win last season — the franchise’s first championship since 2000.
Here’s McVay’s boozy pitch to Stafford (one of the few late-night drunk calls to work in the history of man):
“Here’s the f***ing deal, OK? We can sit here and exist, and be OK winning nine to 11 games, and losing in the f***ing divisional round and feel like, ‘Oh, everything’s OK.’ Or, we could let our mother***ing n**s hang, and go trade for this f***ing quarterback, and give ourselves a chance to go win a f***ing world championship. You ready to f***ing do this or what?”
Stafford answered the call.