SF 49ers tied for 2nd best odds to trade for Lions QB Matt Stafford
By Peter Panacy
Oddsmakers seem to like the idea the SF 49ers will somehow acquire Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford this offseason.
Earlier this week, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Stafford had requested a trade, likely stemming from not wanting to go through an entirely new rebuild under first-year head coach Dan Campbell, and the Lions agreed and are willing to entertain trade offers for the soon-to-be 33-year-old former No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick from 2009.
With no shortage of quarterback controversies of their own, the Niners are certainly going to be linked to quarterbacks available on the market, either by way of a trade or in free agency. There’s plenty of draft speculation, too, although a would-be trade for Stafford likely ends any of those discussions. At least early in the draft.
And it’s something the folks over at The Action Network, citing FanDuel, think could happen.
Right now, San Francisco is tied for the second-highest odds to acquire Stafford, those odds coming in at plus-350. The only team with better odds is the Indianapolis Colts, who just watched their veteran starter, Philip Rivers, retire not long ago.
Tied with the SF 49ers are the New England Patriots (plus-350), while the Miami Dolphins are at plus-400 with the third-best odds.
Indy makes a lot of sense, too, as the Colts have far more cap space ($64.9 million, per Over the Cap), whereas the Niners have a projected $9.4 million. But a would-be trade would automatically mean San Francisco would move on from its starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, this offseason which frees up $24.1 million.
Plenty enough to absorb Stafford’s $20 million cap hit if traded.
What would an SF 49ers trade for Matthew Stafford look like?
Well, it’s impossible to tell. Especially if teams like the Dolphins, Patriots or Colts outbid the SF 49ers, particularly with draft capital.
But the Niners do have a tradable asset, Garoppolo, which could be part of a relatively easy deal. At least from Pro Football Talk’s Peter King, who suggested the following:
"Intriguing. San Francisco talks a big game about loving Jimmy Garoppolo, and maybe the franchise does. We’ll see. Compensation: Garoppolo and a 2022 second-round pick."
Well, Garoppolo is a starting-caliber quarterback. That’s something neither the Colts nor Patriots have on their current roster right now. And the Dolphins, marginally with Tua Tagovailoa after his rookie year, aren’t exactly in a better situation. So, perhaps, Detroit landing Jimmy G as part of the trade would make sense in some regard.
Garoppolo does have a no-trade clause, so he could veto the deal. But unless he’s willing to part ways with more than $20 million on the table in 2021 while realizing he wouldn’t get that kind of money on a free-agent contract if cut, it might actually be smarter for him to accept the trade anyway.
Even if it’s to a rebuilding team like the Lions.
Either way, this story isn’t going to go away anytime soon until Stafford officially finds a new home for 2021 and beyond. But judging by the odds, the chances that home is in Northern California appear awfully high.