Matthew Stafford's 12-season career with the Detroit Lions has come to an end after the team traded the 2009 No. 1 overall pick to the Los Angeles Rams for quarterback Jared Goff, two future first-round picks and a third-round selection, per ESPN's Adam Schefter on Saturday.
It's a new era in Detroit, with general manager Brad Holmes taking over the front office and head coach Dan Campbell patrolling the sidelines.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported on Jan. 23 that Stafford and the Lions had "open and healthy discussions" following the conclusion of the 2020 season, and both sides agreed the time was right to mutually part ways.
As for Stafford, a new home where he's better positioned to compete for a Super Bowl at this stage of his career is probably the best move as opposed to taking part in a rebuild.
The 32-year-old now heads to Los Angeles after completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and 4,084 yards last year. He's also one year removed from amassing a career-high 8.6 yards per pass attempt.
Stafford started for the Lions from Week 1 of the 2009 season onward. Although the team hasn't enjoyed much success outside three playoff appearances, he has fared well as the Lions quarterback, completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 282 touchdowns and 144 picks.
Moreover, the Georgia product has done an excellent job forming rapports with a rotating cast of top receivers over the past few years. A Calvin Johnson-dominated core gave way to a group led by Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. before Kenny Golladay took over as the team's clear No. 1.
Now Stafford will be throwing to Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and a new set of pass-catchers for the Rams when he moves to L.A.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles has made a seismic change at quarterback, inserting the veteran Stafford in for Goff, whom the Rams took with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
Goff's numbers had taken a tumble in recent years, with his passing yards per attempt falling from 8.4 in 2018 (the team's NFC title year) to 7.2 in 2020.
On Jan. 29, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported, "Matthew Stafford considers the Rams a viable contender in his trade market with the Lions. While it's unclear what the Rams can do with Jared Goff's long-term deal on the books, they've explored the possibilities with Stafford."
And now that possibility is a reality, with Stafford looking to lead the Rams back to the Super Bowl.