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#pounditWednesday, April 21, 2021

Matthew Stafford was open to playing for any team except this one?

Matthew Stafford

The New England Patriots were considered one of the top suitors for Matthew Stafford before the veteran quarterback was traded to the Detroit Lions. While they may have had interest, the interest was apparently not mutual.

According to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, Stafford informed the Lions that he was open to playing for any team except the Patriots. Stafford reportedly had no interest in following in Tom Brady’s footsteps after Cam Newton failed so miserably in New England this past season.

The Patriots have nearly $60 million in salary cap space, which is one of the reasons they were considered a front-runner for Stafford.

You can understand why Stafford did not want to play in New England. For starters, he has played in a dome throughout his career and may not want to endure the harsh winters in Massachusetts. The Patriots also have almost no offensive weapons aside from an aging Julian Edelman.

Curran speculates that Stafford may have no interest in assimilating to Bill Belichick’s strict culture at this point in his career. Former Lions head coach Matt Patricia is also returning to the Patriots as an assistant coach after his failed stint in Detroit.

While it makes sense that Stafford would prefer other teams over the Patriots, his insistence on not playing in New England says a lot about the current state of the team. The Pats are no longer a perennial Super Bowl contender without Brady. Remarks like the ones Rob Gronkowski recently made about his new team (see them here) probably aren’t helping Belichick, either.

Photo: A Healthier Michigan/Flickr via cc-by-sa 2.0

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