It certainly isn’t coincidental that Matt Stafford landed with a Super Bowl contender in the Rams, having been traded away by the hapless Lions franchise which is now undergoing a full rebuild.
Stafford was the Lions starting quarterback since the team selected him with the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, and he led them to the playoffs a few times. But the Lions could never win a meaningful game in January, and while they had some solid regular-season campaigns, they failed to get over the hump throughout Stafford’s career.
And that’s probably why he wanted out.
Stafford didn’t go the Deshaun Watson route, as he went through the proper channels and requested the Lions trade him away — behind the scenes. And apparently, he wasn’t open to any and all teams, either, as he recently came out and said there were a few teams not included on his “wish list” he shared with the Lions.
“Well, what’s accurate is — and this is an incredible thing by them — I asked to go to a team that was ready to win a championship,” Stafford told Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press. “And, you know, there were a few teams on that list. There were a few teams that were not on that list. And they were respectful of that and understood completely. I had thoughts and reasons for each one of them.”
It’s likely that the Jets were on the list, because not too many guys are lining up to play for that organization, despite the head coaching change.