The Detroit Lions’ season is a mess and so it’s being wondered if they might move on from 27-year-old quarterback Matthew Stafford. As a Cleveland Browns fan and follower, the concept seems ludicrous to consider as we’re left discussing the lesser evil between a young party-boy and his 36-year-old, octogenarian, block-headed1 mentor. So, when Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole writes about talking to league sources and then names the Browns as one of the potential interested parties, my ears perk up.
Along with the Browns, unsurprisingly, the Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, and New York Jets are listed as possible interested parties. All those teams make loads of sense too.
Don’t tell the Lions I said this, but it’s crazy to think they would actually head into the future without Matthew Stafford. If anything else, the big mistake the Lions have made is when they hired Jim Caldwell to be their coach. On the heels of the Lions firing their front office in the past week, I can’t help but also look and see, yep, Caldwell was at the helm when the Colts ended up running Bill Polian and his son out of town. The guy is not a good coach and he seems to lead a path of destruction behind him wherever he goes to coach.
But, if the Lions do move along from Stafford and need a trade partner, I’d gladly see the Browns part with some low-round draft pick in order to commit to the not-quite-$20 million in annual salary that it takes to have Stafford as the incumbent quarterback for the immediate future. He’s not a lock to take you to the promised land, and many will point to his 36-49 QB record as a reason to neglect such a path. I’d argue that if he were to come to the Browns he might make the argument that the Browns have the second-best quarterback in the division. You might not win the argument, but it wouldn’t be bonkers to make the statement as it is today.
In Matthew Stafford, the Browns get a guy who can be named starter without question. In Stafford, the Browns would have a guy who can make all the throws, has thrown for over 23,000 yards and 144 touchdowns and is STILL younger than Brandon Weeden was the day he made his first start for the Cleveland Browns.