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The moment Matthew Stafford started thinking trade despite wanting to retire in Lions uniform

Lions. Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford is soon to be a former member of the Detroit Lions as he will be officially traded to the Los Angeles Rams when the new league year begins in March. Even though Stafford envisioned himself playing for the Lions his entire career, he and his wife began picturing a trade happening before last season, via Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press.

“To be honest, Kelly and I probably started talking about it before last season. It was one of those things where, you know, we were hoping that, golly, let’s go, I hope this thing takes off and we play great. But if it doesn’t, you just knew what was going to happen. They were going to tear it down and rebuild.”

Stafford, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, saw himself playing his entire career with the Lions. The veteran signal-caller said he had hopes of winning Super Bowls for Detroit despite the lack of winning the franchise has endured for years.

But when the Lions decided to part ways with Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn, Stafford knew the writing was on the wall for his departure.

“And anytime you switch GMs and a head coach, you know that they’re going to want to bring their own people in, and that’s going to take time. And I, frankly, didn’t feel like I was the appropriate person to oversee that time.”

Before the Lions announced Dan Campbell as their new head coach, Detroit and Stafford agreed that a trade would be the best outcome for both sides. The Lions would then speak to multiple teams about a trade for Stafford, finally finding the Rams as an ideal trade partner.

In his 12 seasons with the Lions, Stafford gave everything he had to the organization as he believed he was going to spend his whole career in the Motor City. However, Stafford realized quickly that things can change in a blink of an eye in the NFL.