NFL Trade Rumors: Matthew Stafford Deal Targeted by Dolphins Before 2018 Season

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2019

Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford warms up before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 34-20. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

The Miami Dolphins inquired about Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford prior to the 2018 NFL season, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

Salguero noted that trade talks are not believed to have reached a point where the two sides discussed potential compensation. However, Miami was reportedly willing to part with its 2018 first-round pick and more to land the one-time Pro Bowler.

Since being taken with the first overall pick in 2009, Stafford has been among the most productive passers in football. He entered last season having thrown for 4,200-plus yards and 20-plus touchdowns in seven straight seasons.

Prior to last year, Stafford had led the Lions to a winning record in three of the previous four seasons and had not recorded fewer than seven wins since 2012.

Perhaps the 6'3", 220-pound quarterback's durability has been the most attractive to Miami. He has not missed a contest since his second year in the NFL and has started all 128 regular-season games since the beginning of the 2011 campaign.

On the flip side, the Dolphins have struggled while dealing with instability at quarterback in recent years. Former starter Ryan Tannehill appeared in just 24 games over the last three years because of injuries.

After failing to land Stafford, Miami stuck with Tannehill in 2018 before trading him to the Tennessee Titans earlier this month. The Dolphins signed 36-year-old journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick to take over as they search for their next franchise quarterback.

The Dolphins hold the 13th overall pick in April's draft in Nashville, Tennessee. If they try to solve their quarterback problem with a top-tier prospect such as Oklahoma's Kyler Murray or Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins, it may take an aggressive move to trade up to the top of the draft.

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