Matthew Stafford Trade Rumors: 49ers Deny Deal Is Close for Lions QB

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 30, 2021

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford scrambles during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

Rumors circulated that the San Francisco 49ers were close to agreeing to a trade for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, but NFL Network's Mike Garafolo shot those reports down on Saturday on Good Morning Football:

"There were rumors the last couple of days on Twitter that the 49ers were on the verge of a trade for Matthew Stafford with the Lions. Not according to the folks in San Francisco who said, 'Nope, not us.'

"Now, I can't guarantee you that they're not gonna trade for a quarterback this offseason. Jimmy Garoppolo might be elsewhere. But I hear a lot of positives when I talk to the folks in San Francisco with regard to how they feel about Jimmy Garoppolo. So, I'll keep him there for another season at least and hope that everybody around him stays healthy, and all the bad juju that's surrounding this team is gone, and they can get back to playing good football with Jimmy Garoppolo."

The 49ers traded a second-round draft pick to the New England Patriots for the man known as Jimmy G in 2017. In February 2018, the 49ers inked the signal-caller to a five-year extension worth $137.5 million, with $48.7 million fully guaranteed.

Garoppolo, who went 5-0 starting for San Francisco in 2017, missed all but three games in 2018 with a torn ACL suffered against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.

The 2019 season was a tremendous success, with Garoppolo leading the 49ers to an NFC title and a Super Bowl appearance. He completed a career-high 69.1 percent of his passes for 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

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Unfortunately, injuries prevented Garoppolo from seeing the field much in 2020; he was limited to six games due to a high-ankle sprain and a re-aggravation of that same ailment.

Meanwhile, Stafford's time in Detroit is over after he and the Lions mutually agreed to part ways following 12 seasons.

Apparently the market is hot enough for the 32-year-old's services that Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported a deal could be in place before the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

San Francisco wouldn't appear to be a front-runner based on Garafolo's report, although a move to the NFC West could still happen. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Friday that Stafford believes the Los Angeles Rams are a "viable contender" in the trade market.