The Detroit Lions with franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford have begun exploring trade opportunities, sending the 12-year veteran and former No. 1 pick out of the Motor City, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Pelissero reports that Stafford and the Lions are “mutually agreed” to part and will look to trade the one-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

Matthew Stafford, 32, is coming off a 2020 NFL campaign that saw him compete in all 16 regular-season games, one year removed from that shortened 2019 season due to a spinal injury.

Stafford threw for over 4,000 passing yards during the 2020 season, completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 26 touchdowns and going 5-11, missing the playoffs.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Lions will explore trading for Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has expressed frustrations with his AFC South franchise during a tumultuous offseason.

The first overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Georgia, Stafford had been the league's iron man signal-caller before bowing out in Week 8 of the 2019 season with a back injury. The 6-foot-3 gunslinger missed the rest of the season before coming back strong in 2020-21.

While the NFL has seen a surge in strong quarterback play from younger players, the Lions' NFC is populated as of now by older QBs—exemplified by tomorrow's title game featuring Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady.

Stafford still has some left in the tank, and the Lions will look to both send him to a happy destination along with start rebuilding with new head coach Dan Campbell hired this week.

This story is developing. More to come . . .