Amid Trade Rumors, Stafford Tells Quinn: 'I Don’t Want To Go Anywhere'

Matthew Stafford
Photo credit © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
By 97.1 The Ticket
If the Lions were really trying to trade Matthew Stafford, and if Stafford really wanted out of Detroit, it's hard to imagine Quinn would have reached out to Stafford to dispel a trade rumor earlier this month. And it's hard to imagine Stafford would have told Quinn he has no interest in being dealt. 

But that's exactly what happened, after it was reported by WDIV that the Lions have been shopping their franchise quarterback. 

“When the story came out, I called Matthew and I said, ‘Listen, I haven’t had one conversation. I’m not trying -- we’re not trading you, period,’” Quinn told reporters Tuesday at the NFL combine, via MLive. “And he was great. He was, ‘I don’t want to go anywhere.’”
Rumors about the Lions moving on from Stafford have popped up this offseason with the team picking third overall in the draft -- prime position to take Tua Tagovailoa. Reports first began trickling out the week of the Super Bowl. 

But a trade would saddle Detroit with a dead cap hit of $24.8 million next season -- a few million more than it would cost to keep Stafford on the roster -- and undermine the team's chances of winning in a make-or-break season for Quinn and Matt Patricia. 

Asked Tuesday if Stafford has asked for a trade, Quinn said, “Has not. Nope.” 

“He’s our guy," Quinn added. "That’s all I can say.”

Stafford, 32, played the best football of his career last season before missing the final eight games with fractures in his back. It was the second straight year he dealt with a serious back injury, but Quinn reiterated Tuesday he has no concerns about Stafford's long-term health. 

"The one thing about Matthew is his No. 1 trait is the same as when I came here four years ago," said Quinn. "He still has that great arm strength. He’s a competitor, he’s tough, he’s sneaky athletic. I think he’s improved his athleticism a little bit over his career. He does a great job of taking care of his body. You take all those things into consideration.

"Just like any other player, you have to see, are they ascending or declining? And I think it’s different for every position in terms of how old they are. In my opinion when you’re a quarterback, your prime is your late 20's into your early 30’s. And as we saw, how did Matthew play last year when he was out there? I think everyone would agree he played really good. That’s what we’re expecting when he comes back."