Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Lions, Matthew Stafford agree to part ways; 49ers seen as potential landing spot

Jan 23, 2021 at 3:31 PM--

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Detroit Lions and their quarterback, Matthew Stafford, have discussed the future and mutually agreed to part ways this offseason. That means the Lions are listening to trade offers for the former No. 1 overall pick.

There has been some speculation that the 49ers might show interest in Stafford, whose asking price wouldn't be as high as what the Houston Texans might ask for disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson. This week, former NFL scout John Middlekauff suggested the 49ers trade the No. 12 overall pick for Stafford, moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo.

Analyst Matt Miller also suggests keeping an eye on the 49ers as a potential landing spot for Stafford.

Analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic seems to agree and even offered an example of what it might cost for an interested team to acquire Stafford from the Lions.

Garoppolo has had trouble staying healthy during his time with the 49ers. He has missed most of the last three seasons due to injuries. While Stafford has battled some injuries recently, he has started 16 games in each season since 2011, with the exception of 2019.

Both head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch said they expected Garoppolo to be the 49ers' starting quarterback in 2021 but would not commit to not seeking an upgrade this offseason. The two have stated that they are always looking for ways to improve their roster, no matter the position. That was evident as the 49ers looked into the possibility of adding Tom Brady last offseason after Garoppolo had just led the team to a Super Bowl appearance.

It is worth noting that Garoppolo has a no-trade clause in his contract for this year and would need to approve any move involving him.

Stafford, 32, completed 339-of-528 attempts (64.2 percent) for 4,084 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions through 16 games with the Lions in 2020. The Pro Bowl quarterback has completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 45,109 yards with 282 touchdowns and 144 interceptions through his 12 NFL seasons.

David Lombardi of The Athletic points out that the salary-cap hit for Garoppolo in 2021 is nearly $27 million. The cap hit after acquiring Stafford would be about $20 million in 2021 and about $23 million in 2022. There would also be $2.8 million in dead money for parting ways with Garoppolo.

H/t to Patrick Tulini for the find.

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