The San Francisco 49ers may have pulled ahead in the race to land Matthew Stafford, a new report indicates.
The Pro Bowl quarterback had reportedly asked for a trade which would give him a fresh start, and reports indicate that the Detroit Lions have agreed and are now starting to look at potential deals. While there have been close to a dozen teams connected in potential deals, a report from Sports Illustrated notes that the 49ers may have the inside track. The outlet cited an inside source who said that while the two sides are not close to finalizing a deal, the team seems to be ahead of potential competitors in discussions.
Beyond that, there were few details about exactly what a trade would look like. The insider was also unable to determine whether the feeling was mutual between Stafford and the 49ers.
"The source did not say what the 49ers would have to give the Lions to get Stafford, although it's presumed the 49ers would have to trade at least their first-round pick this year," the outlet noted. "Nor did the source say whether the 49ers are Stafford's first choice. He most likely would love their head coach, Kyle Shanahan, plus their star players such as George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, but probably wouldn't love the California state taxes."There are other reports indicating that the 49ers are looking to make a change at quarterback, just one year after Jimmy Garoppolo led the team to the Super Bowl. As The Inquisitr reported, there is a growing sentiment among NFL insiders that San Francisco would be willing to move on if they could land an upgrade, namely Stafford. A report from NESN speculated that Garoppolo could find his way back to the New England Patriots, where he served as backup to Tom Brady before being traded to San Francisco.
Competition for Stafford is expected to be high, with a number of other quarterback-hungry teams looking for the immediate upgrade that he would bring. Betting outlets have pegged the Denver Broncos as the most likely destination, with the team expected to move on from Drew Lock if they were able to snag the Lions signal caller. As Sports Illustrated noted, Stafford's "palatable" contract -- with a $20 million cap hit in 2021 and $23 million hit in 2022 -- makes him an affordable option for a number of teams in need of a full-time starter.