NFL insider says Rams nearly dealt Matthew Stafford this offseason

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

Not even two years removed from quarterbacking them to a Super Bowl championship, the Los Angeles Rams were so very close to dealing Matthew Stafford earlier this offseason.

The NFL is 100 percent a what have you done for me lately league, as illustrated by how close the Los Angeles Rams were to trading franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford this past winter.

NFL insider Michael Lombardi appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and told the boys that Los Angeles wanted to get Stafford’s contract off the books. There was a point in the earliest days of this offseason where the Rams really tried to trade him. Unfortunately, there were no suitors because of the $59 million in contract bonuses. No team wanted to cough up that amount of cash.

For this to come one year removed from leading the Rams to a Super Bowl is absolutely shocking.

"“When his option bonus was getting ready to kick in, they attempted, with a lot of effort, to trade him—any team could have had him. The problem was, you had to absorb the $59 million, and the Rams knew there was no way around the $59 million. They couldn’t get around it unless they traded him and somebody else took it.”"

Here is a clip from Friday’s program in which Lombardi revealed the big Stafford trade nugget.

There is obviously a lot to unpack here, but man, oh man, do things change in a hurry in the NFL…

NFL insider says Los Angeles Rams tried to trade Matthew Stafford this winter

Stafford is about to enter his age-35 season out of Georgia. He signed a four-year extension worth $160 million last offseason with the Rams after having been traded over from the Detroit Lions the offseason prior. He is on the Rams’ books through his age-38 season in 2026. Stafford will not be hitting NFL free agency again until 2027 when he will be a year away from turning 40.

When healthy, Stafford can play like a top-10 quarterback in the league. He is not particularly mobile, although he can move a little bit. Stafford’s greatest attribute is his rocket right arm. At his peak, it was arguably a top-three arm in the sport. See, this is why the Rams traded for him. When all goes according to plan, Stafford can definitely lead the franchise he plays for to the postseason.

The other weird part in this is his connection with Rams head coach Sean McVay. They are roughly the same age. In fact, Stafford’s brother-in-law Chad Hall grew up in Atlanta and is very close friends with McVay. Another crazy wrinkle is Stafford’s backup will be fellow Georgia legendary quarterback Stetson Bennett IV. The Rams drafted him after knowing Stafford was staying put.

Look. The Rams are in a bit of a financial pickle this season. The f**k them picks philosophy of team building has come back to haunt general manager Les Snead very quickly. Truth be told, it was all worth it because the first five years of the McVay era of Rams football resulted in two trips to the Super Bowl, with the second culminating in the franchise’s second-ever Lombardi Trophy.

Still, for the Rams to even think about trading Stafford showed how bad off they were financially.

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