The Indianapolis Colts are still seen as the frontrunner to land Matthew Stafford despite the strong interest and motivation on the part of the San Francisco 49ers, a league insider says.
Stafford is suddenly available after reportedly asking the Detroit Lions for a trade, with the team agreeing and starting to listen to offers. While there have been close to a dozen teams connected to Stafford, the NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah said he believes the Colts will be the one to land the Pro Bowler.
Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, Jeremiah said that from the very first reports that Stafford wanted out of Detroit, he believed the Colts would be the ones to land him. He admitted it caused some doubt when San Francisco reportedly jumped into the mix, but not enough to put him off of his initial assessment."At first, when I heard the Niners were in it, I was like 'Okay, this is the Lions needing to get out the other suitor to try to get a little more from the Colts.' That's where my mind went, but now it's like, 'Shoot. from what you're saying, it sounds like they've made it pretty far down the road there with the Niners,' " he said, via the SB Nation blog Stampede Blue.
"But that's where I expected Stafford to go."As Stampede Blue noted, there are reports that the 49ers offered a pair of second-round picks and pair of third-round picks in exchange for Stafford, though some have pegged the asking price much higher. Multiple teams are reportedly prepared to offer at least a first-rounder in exchange for Stafford, a return that would be more in line with other recent trades featuring similar players at or near their prime. As The Inquisitr reported, there are many who still see the 49ers as a strong contender for Stafford, noting that the franchise would be willing to move on from signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo just one year after he brought the team to the Super Bowl. NBC Sports noted that while San Francisco has adopted a run-heavy approach to some success under head coach Kyle Shanahan, Stafford would appear to be a better fit for the style he employed in the past while making Matt Ryan an NFL MVP with the Atlanta Falcons.
The Colts are also motivated to find a new quarterback after Philip Rivers retired following the season, leaving the playoff-caliber team without a starter for 2021.