Patriots: Could Matthew Stafford be an option if Tom Brady leaves?
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Could trading for Matthew Stafford be an option for the Patriots if they lose Tom Brady?

Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, Patriots

The New England Patriots are currently compiling a list of options at quarterback in case Tom Brady departs in free agency. Could Matthew Stafford be an option for the Patriots if they lose Brady this offseason?

Brady, who has played 20 seasons in New England, is going to test the open market for the first time in his career. While Brady is going to meet with other teams, there’s still a chance that he returns to the Patriots next season. Even at 42-years-old, New England wants to have Brady finish his career in Foxborough.

However, in the event that Brady leaves, the Patriots need to have a contingency plan in place. Do they sign a free agent to replace him? Or do they scour the trade market and see if any teams are willing to do business?

The Patriots own the No. 23 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and won’t be able to draft one of the coveted quarterback prospects. At the same time, they likely don’t have the needed draft capital to trade up to get one either.

On the other hand, New England has some options if they want to trade for an already proven franchise quarterback. As unlikely as it is, the Patriots could call the Detroit Lions and gauge their interest in moving on from Stafford.

This season, Stafford was sidelined for eight weeks due to a lingering back injury. Additionally, Stafford recently turned 32-years-old and it remains to be seen what he looks like in his return.

Even with his latest injury, Stafford has been an underrated quarterback in the NFL. The Georgia product is just the latest player in NFL history that’s gotten overlooked due to spending his career in Detroit.

Since the end of the season, Bob Quinn—the GM of the Lions—expressed his excitement to move forward with Stafford as his starter. But with Detroit holding the No. 3 pick in April’s draft, they could draft the quarterback of their future.

Despite posting another dismal season in 2019, the Lions chose to retain Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia for next season. As a result, the Patriots have a close relationship with the important members of Detroit’s organization still.

Prior to joining the Lions, Quinn spent 15 years as a member of New England’s front office. At the same time, Patricia served under Bill Belichick as an assistant for the Patriots from 2004-2017.

Provided that, the Lions could be a team that is willing to listen to what Belichick is offering. There’s no doubt that it’s likely that Stafford remains in Detroit with the team that drafted him in 2009.

With that being said, there is still a low-percentage chance that the Patriots could surprisingly land Stafford via trade.

A low-percentage chance is still better than a zero-percent chance for the Patriots if they can’t convince Brady to stay.