NFL Rumors: Colts May Be Preferred Destination For Matthew Stafford As Competition Heats Up

The Indianapolis Colts may have the inside edge in the race for Matthew Stafford, with ESPN’s John Clayton saying that the longtime Detroit Lions starter may prefer a move to the AFC South team.

Stafford had reportedly asked Detroit for a trade that would allow him to have a fresh start with a new franchise, and the organization has gone along with his wish and started the process of listening to trade offers. While there have been close to a dozen teams named as potential partners, Clayton said he believes that Stafford may prefer the Colts over all other suitors.

During an appearance on The Ride with JMV, Clayton said that Stafford’s existing connections to some major figures within the organization may give the Colts an edge, though other teams may come in with strong offers as well.

“So, I think he’s kind of in the same mind as [Colts owner] Jim Irsay and also he knows [rookie quarterback] Jacob Eason, because they both have some roots in Georgia,” he said, via the SB Nation blog Stampede Blue. “Not as far as where Stafford grew up, but I think right now the worry you have is Carolina going to make a big offer? I don’t know if they’ll give up the 8th pick in the draft. Washington has the 19th pick in the first round, and they’re going to be in the bidding.”

There are other insiders who have pegged different teams as having a leg up in the Stafford sweepstakes. As The Inquisitr reported, the San Francisco 49ers have also been seen as a candidate that potentially has an inside track. Sports Illustrated cited a league insider who believed that San Francisco would be a top contender, though it wasn’t clear if the team would be able to top other potential offers or if Stafford pegged the franchise as a preferred destination. The source added that he would likely gel well with head coach Kyle Shanahan and offensive weapons like George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, though likely wouldn’t love California’s state income tax.

This comes amid reports that the 49ers may be ready to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo if they can score an upgrade, just one year after he led the team to a Super Bowl appearance.

Whoever the trade partner turns out to be, the Lions are expected to fetch a top price for Stafford, with many insiders saying they will likely get a first-round draft selection and package of other picks.

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