Lions GM Says Team Has No Plans to Trade Matthew Stafford Amid Rumors

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2019

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 30:  Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after beating the Green Bay Packers 31-0 at Lambeau Field on December 30, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn said Friday the organization won't trade starting quarterback Matthew Stafford during the offseason.

Quinn told reporters he believes the Lions can win a Super Bowl with Stafford despite his struggles during the 2018 NFL season:

"Matthew Stafford is our quarterback; he will be our quarterback here. Listen—this guy is a really talented player. Myself, the coaches, need to put him in better situations to allow him to use his skill set. Matthew is extremely tough. He's extremely diligent in his work ethic. He sets a great example for all our players, and really all of our staff on how to go about his business."

The 30-year-old University of Georgia product completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 3,777 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while playing all 16 games. It was the first time he's finished below 4,000 as the team's full-time starter, and his 89.9 QB rating was his lowest since 2014.

He ranked 17th in Pro Football Focus' grades and 22nd in ESPN's Total QBR.

"Matthew obviously didn't have his best statistical year," Quinn said. "I think that's stated and known. We went through obviously some changes in the offseason. We really committed to the running game."

The Lions finished 6-10—the worst record in the NFC North—and ranked 24th in total offense and 25th in scoring offense.

In December, an NFL insider explained to Mike Sando of ESPN.com that Detroit could trade Stafford and allow head coach Matt Patricia to build around a hand-picked quarterback.

"Patricia and Quinn both spent a long time in the Patriots organization, where they watched Tom Brady very closely," the source told Sando. "They are going to want somebody who prepares and manages the game more like Tom."

For his part, Stafford said last month he wanted to remain with the Lions.

"I think there's something special about a guy getting a chance to play his entire career in one place," he told reporters. "Not many guys get to do that these days. I would love to be one of those guys."

Stafford is under contract through 2022 as part of a five-year, $135 million deal that will see him count $29.5 million against the salary cap in 2019, which ranks second among quarterbacks.

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