NFL Rumors: Jonathan Taylor mystery team, Eagles trade request, Stafford struggles

  • Matthew Stafford is struggling to connect with the Rams' youth
  • Eagles DE Derek Barnett angling for trade and more snaps
  • A mystery suitor for Jonathan Taylor could shake up trade talks
Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys
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NFL Rumors: Matthew Stafford struggling to connect with Rams youth

The Los Angeles Rams' disastrous 2022 season raised a great many questions about the future of the organization. Perhaps no player is shrouded in more doubt than Matthew Stafford, the 35-year-old Super Bowl champ who is on the precipice of obsolescence as the Rams pivot toward a younger group.

It's easy to forget that Stafford authored a magnificent 41-touchdown, championship-winning campaign less than two years ago. Injuries held him to only nine appearances in 2023 and while his completion percentage reached a career high (68.0), his yards per attempt (6.9) plummeted and Los Angeles' previously explosive offense faltered.

It would appear that Stafford's problems are not limtied to the confines of the game. In a recent episode of her podcast, Stafford's wife, Kelly, dove into his fractured relationship with younger members of the team off the field.

"So Matthew’s been in the league a long time," she said. "They have a lot of rookies on their team, they’re very young. But he’s like ‘I feel like I can’t connect.'"

We've all heard this tale before. It can be difficult for veterans to reckon with the changing social dynamics of the younger generation. Folks don't interract the same way they did a decade ago. It's not necessarily good or bad, but it's definitely different.

"In the old days you’d come out of practice, you’d shower, and people would be playing cards, interacting," Kelly Stafford said. "But now they get out of practice, and meetings during training camp, and they go straight to their phones."

That particular quote sounds a bit like a grouchy old man running kids off his lawn, but there's probably something to the emerging disconnect of teammates in the locker room. Phones have changed the way we all communicate. Matt Stafford is clearly used to face-to-face conversation.

The kicker, however, is how Kelly describes younger teammates' interactions with her husband: "They say ‘Sir’ to him and s**t. He’s like ‘No, we’re on the same level here, we’re both playing in the league. Let me get to know you."

Yikes! 35 years old is probably a little young for the 'sir' label and yeah, that doesn't sound like the greatest foundation for a strong teammate-to-teammate relationship.

Hopefully Stafford can figure out a way to connect with the youth (or at least get traded to an older team).