Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Jimmie Ward doesn’t sound too concerned about Rams’ Matthew Stafford

Jul 20, 2021 at 9:47 AM--

Kyle Shanahan admitted that he was frustrated by missing out on potentially pursuing Matthew Stafford in March. Instead, the Detroit Lions shipped the veteran quarterback to a division rival. The speed at which the trade went down shocked Shanahan, who thought he would have more time to get his San Francisco 49ers in the talks.

"I was trying to get involved in it," Shanahan shared during a recent podcast interview with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and NFL Network's Peter Schrager. "Someone who had knowledge of the situation, I remember us talking to (agent Tom) Condon, just everyone, to find out when it was happening. I remember Saturday, I was so stressed out. And finally, we talked to someone. It was like seven at night, and they're like, 'No, nothing's happening, at the earliest, until tomorrow. You can finish your night.' So I'm like, 'Alright, I'm done.'"

Shanahan was in Cabo San Lucas at that time, not far from where McVay and Stafford were vacationing. Soon after, the quarterback was gone.

"That was frustrating," Shanahan admitted.

While the 49ers coach holds Stafford in high esteem, one of his players downplayed the addition to the NFC West rival.

"I like Stafford, but they still will have the same people who you're throwing the ball to," Ward recently told Grant Cohn of Sports Illustrated. "Yeah, you can argue and say he's the same quarterback, but he's the same quarterback that's been with the Detroit Lions, and they still didn't go to the playoffs, and you had Megatron (Calvin Johnson).

"What was the problem over there with Detroit? You're just going to blame the city? What was the problem? Is it the money? If the city doesn't have enough money to bring players over there, why are they even having an NFL team? That's a big question mark."

While Stafford has passed for over 4,000 yards in eight of his 12 NFL seasons, he had just four seasons with a winning record as a starter and reached the playoffs just three times. Not once has he made it out of the Wild Card round.

The Rams shipped two future first-round draft picks, a third-rounder, and quarterback Jared Goff to the Lions in exchange for Stafford. Both quarterbacks were No. 1 overall picks — Stafford in 2009 and Goff in 2016. However, Goff helped guide the Rams to a Super Bowl LIII appearance during the 2018 season.

"You went and traded Jared Goff, who went to playoffs several times and went to the Super Bowl," Ward continued. "Yeah, he lost. He went to the Super Bowl, though. I've yet to see that with Matt Stafford. And I'm saying he's still great. I'm saying I believe he's a top 10 quarterback. I'm not going to lie. Maybe top five. I don't know. We'll see. I'm just going off of what I see. And I see Jared Goff end up getting those boys to the Super Bowl."

How much do you feel the addition of Stafford to the Rams complicates things for the 49ers? Leave a comment below.

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