3 Most Likely Trade Destinations for Matthew Stafford If the Lions Draft a QB

Matthew Stafford warms up against the Oakland Raiders.
Matthew Stafford warms up against the Oakland Raiders. | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Before a broken back ended his 2019-20 season after just eight games, Matthew Stafford was one of the best quarterbacks in football.

That might sound hyperbolic, but Stafford ranked top 5 in: yards per attempt (8.6, No. 2 in the NFL), yards per game (312.4, No. 2), QBR (73.1, No. 4) and touchdown percentage (6.5 percent, No. 4). Stafford did all this while posting the second-lowest interception percentage of his career (1.7 percent) and leading the league with a 10.6 average depth of target (aDOT).

However, Detroit has only made the playoffs once in the last five seasons. Given Stafford's recent injury, and the team's lack of success, the Lions could elect to rebuild by taking a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa, who looks to be far healthier than many anticipated at this point.

If Detroit ultimately decides to trade Stafford, here are three potential destinations for the former No. 1 overall pick.

1. Los Angeles Chargers

Joey Bosa celebrates with Melvin Ingram.
Joey Bosa celebrates with Melvin Ingram. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

On paper, the Los Angeles Chargers are one of the most talented teams in the league. With elite skill-position players, a solid secondary and a fearsome pass-rushing unit, few, if any, expected this team to finish 5-11 in 2019. While there were many factors that contributed to the underwhelming campaign, Philip Rivers' lackluster play might be chief among them. Rivers is officially out of the picture though, and Los Angeles could use its No. 6 overall draft pick to make a run at Stafford. Barring a massive rebuild, this roster is simply too loaded to squander another year due to poor quarterback play, and Stafford could instantly make the Chargers Super Bowl contenders.

2. Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker broke out last season, tallying 1,202 receiving yards and nine TDs.
DeVante Parker broke out last season, tallying 1,202 receiving yards and nine TDs. | Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Armed with three first-round picks, the Miami Dolphins have more than enough ammunition to make a splash. While they've been linked to Tagovailoa for quite some time, Miami could always elect to go with a more proven, veteran option. Stafford certainly fits the bill. While Miami initially looked poised to be one of the worst teams in NFL history, Brian Flores was able to right the ship in the second half, leading the Dolphins to a 3-2 record down the stretch. With the most cap space and draft capital in the NFL, Miami could quickly rebuild and make a run at the playoffs if the Dolphins manage to land Stafford.

3. Carolina Panthers

Christian McCaffrey on the sidelines against the New Orleans Saints.
Christian McCaffrey on the sidelines against the New Orleans Saints. | Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers' quarterback situation is a mess. Cam Newton's future with the team is up in the air, at best, and neither Kyle Allen nor Will Grier look to be longterm solutions. If new head coach Matt Rhule wants to hit the ground running in Carolina, Stafford could be a fantastic get. The team's offensive coordinator, Joe Brady, coaxed one of the best collegiate seasons ever out of Joe Burrow, and he could work his magic again with Stafford. Notably, Stafford has only played with one 1,000-yard rusher at the NFL level (Reggie Bush, 2013) and he's one of only two Lions to have broken even 800 rushing yards since 2011. Christian McCaffrey would finally solve that issue for Stafford, and D.J. Moore looks like one of the best young wideouts in football. If Carolina is willing to move off some draft capital, this team could add Stafford and get competitive again in a hurry.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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