Los Angeles Rams new star quarterback Matthew Stafford is getting used to his new teams following his trade from the Detroit Lions last month, but admits that asking for a trade was a difficult process, and his decision to part with the franchise had been something he and his wife were discussing for a while.
Stafford also expressed his surprise to land with the Rams, admitting that he thought he would end up with the Indianapolis Colts, Washington Football Team, or San Francisco 49ers, during an extensive interview with WDIV and the Detroit Free Press.
“It was one of those things where, you know, we were hoping that — golly, let’s go, I hope this thing takes off and we play great,” Stafford said. “But if it doesn’t, you just knew what was going to happen. They were going to tear it down and rebuild.
“And anytime you switch GMs and a head coach, you know that they’re going to want to bring their own people in, and that’s going to take time. And I, frankly, didn’t feel like I was the appropriate person to oversee that time.”
Stafford met with Lions team president Rod Wood and team owner Shiela Ford Hamp following the completion of the 2020 season to formally request a trade from the team, a request that the team was open to.
“I’m not a salary cap guru,” Stafford said of where he ended up. “It kind of got to a point where I’m like, ‘OK, I can’t sit there and go crazy.’ I just tried to let it happen. And L.A. aggressively jumped into it.”
“We were excited for a new start, excited for the whole process of being on the trading block to be over,” Stafford said. “Now we had a place. We knew where we were going. I was excited about their roster and their coaching staff and what they can bring to the table and their recent success.
“But at the same time, it was a close of the door in Detroit. At that moment it was real.”
Despite closing the chapter on the Lions, he is grateful for how the organization treated him throughout.
“Sometimes it’s not the perfect storybook ending in the same place,” Stafford said. “But I can leave here knowing that I gave this team every damn thing I had.”