The Los Angeles Rams reportedly agreed on Saturday to pay a premium to acquire Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions, but at least three other teams were prepared to do the same. Hours after reports indicated that several others sought to trade for the 12-year veteran, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that at least three clubs actually made offers for Stafford — and every one of them included a first-round draft pick, plus more. Those teams, per Rapoport: The Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
The reported trade offers go even further, as Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote the Panthers actually offered the No. 8 overall pick in order to acquire Stafford. Their proposal also came with a later pick. Washington offered the No. 19 overall pick with a third-round pick. The Colts offered a package of picks, but never offered their first-round pick. The Bears and Jets kept tabs on Stafford, but the Jets never made an offer. The New England Patriots were willing to offer a second-round pick and a player, but Stafford didn’t want to play in New England.
In total, according to Rapoport, the Lions had more than six formal trade offers for Stafford, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. But Chicago, Carolina and Denver were “among a handful of teams” outside of the Rams who made the most aggressive plays for the veteran QB. The Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Football Team were also in the mix, as NBC Sports’ Peter King reported previously, but may or may not have offered first-round picks for Stafford.
While Stafford’s now locked into Los Angeles, where he represents a clear upgrade over fellow former No. 1 pick — and new Lions QB — Jared Goff, the fact that the Bears, Broncos and Panthers reportedly all made legitimate attempts to acquire him speak to their respective desires for new signal-callers.
Chicago’s former first-rounder, Mitchell Trubisky, is set to hit free agency in March, and 2020 acquisition Nick Foles appears destined for an expensive backup role. The Broncos have publicly supported former second-rounder Drew Lock, though his 2020 decline has seemingly reignited the team’s hunt for a long-term answer. And the Panthers, despite signing Teddy Bridgewater to a lucrative three-year deal prior to 2020, have openly hinted at seeking a more reliable or higher-upside replacement this offseason.