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Matthew Stafford refutes claim by Rams that LA didn’t ask him to change contract: ‘They did’

Rams COO Kevin Demoff keeps denying rumors that LA wanted Stafford to change deal, but Stafford doesn’t

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The question of whether or not the Los Angeles Rams approached Matthew Stafford in the offseason about changing his contract has been a hot topic going into training camp, but what the quarterback said to the media on Wednesday is the most revealing moment yet. Though Rams COO Kevin Demoff has made the claim multiple times recently that the team never approached Stafford about a change in his contract, Stafford told reporters that they did.

Quote: “They did.”

Whether that be a restructure, a renegotiation, or a pay cut to reduce his salary cap hits or $58.5 million bonus due in 2023, Matthew Stafford is saying that the Rams asked him to change his contract, just as Colin Cowherd first reported about two weeks ago.

While brief, Stafford seemed to confirm the Rams reached out about the renegotiations, saying:

“I’m always in contact with them. Again, with everything in those regards, they did, and I’ll keep all those conversations in house and I’ll just leave it at that.”

After Turf Show Times was the first to publish Cowherd’s rumor as a report, Kevin Demoff was asked on the 11 Personnel podcast via The Athletic if there was any truth to that and if the Rams wanted Stafford to “restructure”. Demoff denied the rumors and said that the team never tried to “restructure” Stafford’s contract, which is unfortunate phrasing because that is a very specific type of contract language.

And essentially was impossible with Stafford’s contract in 2023. Whether the Rams asked Stafford to renegotiate his deal or to give back money is what really matters and that was never questioned of Demoff.

When asked about renegotiating Stafford’s deal, Demoff rebuffed the idea and said the team was never going to “restructure” Stafford’s deal, which is much different than “re-doing” the contract. He added the Rams could have “walked away” from the quarterback in March, assuming he’s talking about the $57 million dollar signing bonus Stafford was due on March 17th this year. But as pointed out here and by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, “walking away” from Stafford’s contract is an absurd claim.

The Rams would have taken a huge salary cap hit, one that not even they could have survived, and would have been releasing Stafford by paying him $63 million for zero years.

Demoff doubled down again this week saying the team had calls about trading Stafford and that the team didn’t receive any package that made those talks serious.

It’s rumored that Stafford turned down Los Angeles request to adjust his contract down and that the Rams were “frustrated” by that.

With all these rumors surrounding the quarterback, surprisingly Stafford still seems pretty positive about the whole situation. When asked about how he reacts to seeing trade and contract negotiations rumors, Stafford put a positive spin on it saying:

“I don’t react to it at all to be honest with you, Im too busy chasing around four kids. No, I hear that stuff and I have contact with them all the time.” he continued that “I see it as flattering, I just know I’m really happy playing for this team, playing for this coach and these fans.”

Stafford also touched on his health going into the season and what’s different about the start of this season compared to last. Stafford said “I feel a lot better physically, you know, feel really healthy compared to where I was at this point last year, so that’s fun for me.” he continued, “Just excited to be out here.” This was also stated by wife Kelly on her podcast on Monday, as she said that he told he wants to play multiple more seasons in the NFL.

Stafford will have his full arsenal of weapons back, including Van Jefferson and star receiver Cooper Kupp, who blossomed after the addition of Stafford in 2021.

“It’s great having him [Cooper Kupp] out here, it’s great having a lot of the guys that kinda ended the season banged up or had a little bit of an abbreviated season so, it’s great having him out here. We worked a bunch in the offseason between both the OTA period and now, I got a bunch of work with a bunch of guys so it was nice to get out here and do it again.”

Stafford and the Rams will resume practice again on Thursday at UC Irvine and you can bet that questions about his contract will come up again.