NFL Rumors: Patriots Could Land Matthew Stafford In Deal Sending Stephon Gilmore To The Lions

The New England Patriots could address the biggest organizational need by trading for Matthew Stafford this offseason but may need to part with their former NFL Defensive Player of the Year to do it.

Stafford has reportedly asked the Detroit Lions for a trade, and the team agreed, giving the soon-to-be 33-year-old quarterback a fresh start. A number of teams have been identified as potential trade partners, but the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan believes the Patriots could be one of the top contenders. He noted that the team’s “impotent” passing attack behind Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham was one of the biggest factors in a disappointing 7-9 season, but they may now have the opportunity to change that by landing Stafford.

As Callahan noted, the Patriots are more than able to afford Stafford and would be better equipped than other potential trade partners like the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints, especially since the salary cap is expected to drop for the next season. The Patriots would need to offer their No. 15 overall pick in the upcoming draft and likely a combination of their second, fourth, fifth, six, or seventh-round selections as well. New England could also sweeten the deal by adding Stephon Gilmore, Callahan added.

“They’re projected to hold more than $57 million in cap space, per Over The Cap. Only three teams — the Jets, Colts and Jaguars — are expected to boast more. Stafford’s contract is also modest for a starting quarterback,” the report noted.

There will likely be high competition for Stafford, however, which would drive up the asking price for Detroit. As The Inquisitr reported, the Denver Broncos have also been pegged as a serious contender and could potentially offer the No. 9 overall selection, which would give the Lions two Top 10 picks and more capital to move up to the top if they want to go after one of the top-rated quarterbacks in what is seen as a strong draft for signal callers.

The Patriots had one of the biggest offseason acquisitions when they signed Newton to a one-year deal, but he struggled with injuries — including a COVID-19 infection — and inconsistent play. As NBC Sports reported, there had been reports that the team was expected to part ways with him, though head coach Bill Belichick appeared to push back a bit. New England had reportedly been high on Stidham ahead of last season, and reports indicated they saw him as the potential long-term starter, but he struggled as well.

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