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Matthew Stafford anticipated trade to 49ers, not Rams, in 2021

Oct 18, 2022 at 7:12 PM--

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Matthew Stafford hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in February. That never would have happened if the Detroit Lions hadn't been willing to trade the veteran quarterback to the Los Angeles Rams.

Stafford admits that the Rams were the last place he thought he would end up. Instead, he expected to land with another NFC West team.

"Now, did I think I was going to the Los Angeles Rams? That was the last team I would have ever thought I was going to," Stafford told teammate Jalen Ramsey on the Straight Off the Press podcast (h/t to Javier Vega on the find). "I thought I was going to be across the bay in San Fran. I thought San Fran. I thought maybe Washington."

While the 49ers never made an offer for Stafford, they were definitely interested in replacing Jimmy Garoppolo with former Lions quarterback. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has admitted that. However, Sean McVay and the Rams beat him to the punch.

"I was trying to get involved in it," Shanahan shared last year during an appearance on McVay's podcast, Flying Coach. "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.'"

Less than an hour later, the Lions dealt Stafford to the Rams. San Francisco went on to trade up in the draft, selecting quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick.

Shanahan has won seven consecutive regular-season games against McVay and the Rams, including Week 4's 24-9 victory over the division rival. However, Stafford and McVay topped the Niners when it really counted, in last season's NFC title game, before winning the Super Bowl.

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