- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Detroit Lions have reportedly begun fielding trade calls for quarterback Matthew Stafford. And according to one former general manager, it might not take long for a deal to be completed. 

Former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said he expects a Stafford trade to happen “in the next two weeks” and before the Super Bowl. Pioli, now an NFL Network analyst, interviewed for the Lions‘ general manager vacancy in December before Detroit hired the Rams’ Brad Holmes instead.

“My instincts are telling me they’re looking to get a trade done, and they’re looking to get a trade done quickly,” Pioli said, appearing on “Good Morning Football.” 

“They had to know about this earlier than when they let the rest of the football world know.”

That appears to be true. Stafford reportedly approached the Lions about a trade before the team hired Holmes and new coach Dan Campbell. According to multiple reports, Campbell and Holmes were aware of Stafford’s request before being hired. 

With Stafford available, Detroit is expected to have a long list of suitors for the soon-to-be 33-year-old. Washington has been floated as a possible option given the team’s need for a quarterback and the fact it recently hired the executive that drafted Stafford in Martin Mayhew. 

The Lions don’t have a firm deadline to trade Stafford, but a deal must likely be completed before the fifth day of the new upcoming NFL year — set for mid-March. That’s when  Stafford’s $10 million roster bonus becomes fully guaranteed. 

Pioli compared Stafford’s situation to when the Kansas City Chiefs decided to trade Alex Smith in 2018. Back then, the Chiefs agreed to a deal on Jan. 30 — but it couldn’t become official until March. 

Coincidentally, Washington, of course, was the team who traded for Smith. Now, they’re in a position to make a similar move once again. 


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