The Matthew Stafford trade talks are heating up, and a deal could be done in the coming days.
Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell told the Free Press on Saturday that the Lions have "quite a few offers" for Stafford, their longtime starter who asked for a trade after the season.
"It’s pretty hot and heavy right now," Campbell said. "We’ve got quite a few offers, and so it looks like we’ve got some trade partners; we’re just trying to work out the best scenario and see what’s best for us, ultimately.
"I mean, we’re mindful of trying to give him what he wants as well, but he also knows that, listen, we’re going to find the best value for the Detroit Lions and what’s best for us. That’s kind of what we’re doing."
The Lions have had trade conversations with about a third of the league, though not all of those teams are considered realistic suitors.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford could be traded soon. (Photo: Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports)
While it's unclear what the Lions will get in return, the amount of trade interest — the Indianapolis Colts, Washington Football Team and San Francisco 49ers are believed to be among the interested parties — and the Lions' proximity to cutting a deal suggests they will get at least a first-round pick for their soon-to-be 33-year-old quarterback who is under contract at a reasonable price for the next two seasons.
Stafford, the first pick of the 2009 draft, has started most of the past 12 seasons for the Lions and holds franchise passing records for yards, touchdowns, completions, attempts and most other categories.
He approached ownership about a trade after the season, when the Lions went 5-11 to finish in last place in the NFC North for the third straight year.
Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp and president Rod Wood tabled those discussions until after Campbell and new general manager Brad Holmes were hired, and Campbell said when he spoke with Stafford for the first time last week, it was clear there was no changing Stafford's mind.
"It was cordial. Listen, it was great. He was phenomenal, and it was just — you could tell, his mind was made up that it was time," Campbell said. "Not in a bad way, not in a negative way, and that it was — he’s got a few years left and so he felt like this was a decision that he needed to make for his future, and I felt like he was pretty set on that. There was really no, 'Are we going to be able to talk him out of this?' But he was not bitter at all …
"He’s a stud, he’ll always be, and shoot, man, we wish him the best. But we’re going to get what we can. We’re going to max out the value we can for us."
Contact Dave Birkett at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.
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