Saturday evening, news surfaced that a significant change will take place in Michigan. The Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford reportedly mutually agreed to part ways after 12 seasons. Fans headed to Kelly Stafford's Instagram profile in hopes of seeing any update about her husband, but they found only a happy post detailing a "sunny day."
Kelly posted a series of photos on social media that showed their children enjoying a rare sunny winter day in Michigan. They snacked on pizza and donuts, enjoyed some skiing and danced around while wearing snowsuits. "A sunny day in January in Michigan [heart emoji][ski emoji][pizza emoji][donut emoji]" Kelly wrote in the caption of her Instagram post. The fans responded with a variety of comments, including several hoping that Stafford will find success elsewhere.
View this post on Instagram
"Thank you for everything!! Loved you guys in Detroit! Go win big somewhere else!" one fan commented on Instagram. Another added that they just want to see Stafford go to a contender and have the opportunity to win a Lombardi Trophy. They expressed sorrow about the Lions being unable to put together a winning effort throughout his career.
After landing with the Lions as the first-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Stafford started 165 games for the team and set franchise records with 45,109 yards and 282 touchdowns. He also completed 62.6% of his passes while leading 38 game-winning drives during his career and 31 fourth-quarter comebacks. These statistics put Stafford in a tie for eighth all-time in game-winning drives and seventh in fourth-quarter comebacks.
There are currently questions about where Stafford will land if a trade does materialize. ESPN reports that he will draw significant interest due to a team-friendly contract with two years and $43 million remaining on it. Releasing him would leave the Lions with $17 million in dead cap money for the 2021 season, but trading him would yield $14 million in cap space and $20 million in cash. Stafford is also due a $10 million roster bonus when the new league year begins in March.
Several teams are grappling with quarterback questions after the 2020 regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs. Philip Rivers retired and left Indianapolis without a set starter, while Drew Brees reportedly decided to walk away from the Saints. Additionally, Carolina, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Washington, Denver, Chicago and San Francisco all face similar questions.