Throughout the offseason, there were rumors that the Los Angeles Rams were attempting to trade quarterback Matthew Stafford. Following the NFL Combine, Michael Lombardi went on the Pat McAfee show and said that the Rams “would love to trade” Stafford and that they were actively calling other teams. Lombardi was on the McAfee show again in July and doubled down, saying, “any team could’ve had (Stafford)”
The only Stafford reports continuously came from Lombardi and Lombardi only. On Sunday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport entered the scene and reported that while Stafford was in the middle of trade talks, when the New York Jets called, the Rams didn’t budge. According to Rapoport,
“Sources say that when the Jets’ pursuit of Rodgers lagged...the Jets called the Rams to see if Matthew Stafford would be available in a trade. Talks between New York and Los Angeles were brief, simple and to the point. As two sources explained, the Rams were adamant Stafford wasn’t going anywhere. The talks between the two teams were more exploratory than anything else with L.A. showing no willingness to do a deal, but the Jets didn’t want to leave a stone unturned in their quest for a franchise QB.”
What might have been…— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 10, 2023
As the #Jets mega-trade for Aaron Rodgers stalled, they called the #Rams to inquire about trading for Matthew Stafford, sources say. They weren’t alone. LA was adamant Stafford wasn’t going anywhere.
My story: https://t.co/K7l1UUkMKK
Had “any team” been able to have Matthew Stafford like Lombardi suggested not once, but twice, it’s unlikely that Los Angeles wouldn’t have been adamant that their starting quarterback wasn’t going anywhere. It wasn’t just the Jets that called about Stafford either. According to Rapoport, several quarterback needy teams inquired about the Rams quarterback.
“Sources say it wasn’t just the Jets who reached out, as several other QB-needy teams called to inquire on Stafford’s and a few other Rams stars’ availability when people around the league wondered if Los Angeles was in sell-mode.”
While teams did indeed call about Stafford, it doesn’t appear as if the Rams took any of the trade calls seriously. With the Rams cutting Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd and then eventually trading Jalen Ramsey, it only makes sense that teams in need of a quarterback did their due diligence and at least made the phone call.
Now, we don’t know exactly what was offered or if an offer was even made. All we do know is that teams called, the Rams answered the phone, talks were brief, and LA said that Stafford wasn’t available. Rapoport noted, “when it was announced that Rams head coach Sean McVay would return for another season, the plan was always for Stafford to return.”
The Rams are committed to Stafford for this year, but it will be interesting to see just how committed they actually are moving forward. If Los Angeles ends up with a top-10 pick in 2024, would they try to move Stafford and take a rookie quarterback in what will be a loaded class. In the case that the Rams are 2-6 nearing the trade deadline, would they consider trading Stafford in that scenario?
This is only the beginning of the Matthew Stafford trade rumors. Stafford refused a contract restructure this past offseason which likely wasn’t taken very well in the front-office. Additionally, Stafford’s wife, Kelly, is often in the media. The most recent example was her admitting that the Rams quarterback was having trouble connecting with young players on the roster.
We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this one as the season goes on.