January 24, 2021
NFL Rumors: Broncos Could Be Top Contender To Land Matthew Stafford After Lions Agree To Trade Him

The Detroit Lions have reportedly agreed to Matthew Stafford's request for a trade, and the Denver Broncos could be at the top of the list for possible landing spots.

NFL.com reported on Saturday that Stafford told the Lions he wanted a fresh start and that the franchise has started to talk about potential trade options. The report noted that the two sides have had "open and healthy discussions" since the end of the season, and the Lions could be looking to use this year's No. 7 overall pick to target the next franchise quarterback.

While the report did not indicate whether the Lions had any potential partners in mind, it noted that there would likely be a strong market for him. Stafford has two years and $43 million remaining on his contract, which is seen as a bargain.

The Broncos had already been pegged as a good spot for Stafford, even before this weekend's report that the Lions will be actively looking to deal him. The Draft Network reported that Denver would be a strong fit depending on what the team plans to do with its other quarterback prospect.

"It's a fit that makes a lot of sense, but depends on one caveat. How does John Elway feel about Drew Lock?" the outlet reported.
"Since he drafted him, he may be a bit reluctant to admit that the young quarterback simply isn't ready yet based on what we've seen so far this season. That would be the only potential hold up that would keep this deal from happening."
Stafford could be a strong fit in Denver and help the team stay competitive in a high-flying division, the outlet added.

There have been a number of other teams connected to Stafford in recent weeks, as sentiment was growing that he and the team would be parting ways. As The Inquisitr reported, the San Francisco 49ers were also seen as a contender.

There is a bit of urgency to Detroit's situation, NFL.com noted. Stafford is due a $10 million roster bonus when the new league year starts in March, so he would likely need to be shipped off before then. The Lions would come out of a deal carrying $19 million in dead money for the 2021 salary cap, but would also be able to save $14 million in cap space and $20 million in cash — which NFL.com noted could be even more important given the expectation that the salary cap will be dropping.