Matthew Stafford will likely be traded during the offseason, which has led to Detroit Lions fans showing their love and appreciation to the star quarterback. According to the Pride of Detroit, fans from the Lions Reddit page began donating $9 - his jersey number - to the Acoustic Neuroma Association. Stafford sponsored the charity during the last two "My Cause, My Cleats" campaigns as his wife Kelly battled the disease in 2019. Acoustic neuroma is a brain tumor, and Kelly had to undergo surgery. She then had to go through rehab, which is something she continues to do today.
According to Chris Burke of The Athletic, Lions fans have raised up to $11,000 for the Acoustic Neuroma Association, in Matthew and Kelly Stafford's names. Melissa Baumbick of the ANA told Burke that "Kelly is a true AN Warrior. ... We’re not surprised Lions fans hold the Staffords in such high regard and we are incredibly grateful for everyone's generosity." When news broke about Stafford, Kelly sent a message to Lions fans.
Melissa Baumbick of the @ANAssociation tells me that around 1,300 Lions fans -- most donating $9 -- now have raised upwards of $11,000 for the Acoustic Neuroma Association, in Matthew and Kelly Stafford's names. https://t.co/Za8a7L7FNW— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) January 25, 2021
"This place supported me during the toughest time of my life and during the happiest times and I want to thank y’all in the right way," Kelly wrote on Instagram. "Whenever I figure out what the future holds, you’ll be hearing from me again with a thank you that hopefully shows how much gratitude and love I have for this place.. but until then we are going to enjoy our time left in Michigan to the fullest because there really is no other place like it."
According to NFL.com, Stafford requested a trade as he wanted a fresh start. The Lions agreed and will discuss trade options in the coming weeks. Detroit is entering a new era as they recently hired Dan Campbell as the new head coach and Brad Holmes as the new general manager. The team also has the No. 7 overall pick in the NFL Draft, and it's likely they will take a quarterback to jump-start the new era.
Stafford was drafted by the Lions No. 1 overall in 2009. In his 12 seasons with the Lions, Stafford threw for 45,109 yards and 282 touchdowns which are franchise records. If a trade does happen, it will be before the fifth day before the 2021 league year in March when Stafford is due a $10 million roster bonus.