NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 20: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass against the defense of the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter of the game at Nissan Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Matthew Stafford, who turns 33 before next season opens, has only ever played for the Detroit Lions – until now. Detroit has sent Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for the Rams’ first-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023, a third-round pick in 2021, and quarterback Jared Goff.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions

DETROIT, MI – JANUARY 03: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions walks to the sidelines in the second quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on January 3, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Stafford and the Lions had mutually agreed to part ways earlier in the week, with the team moving in a new direction under new general manager Brad Holmes (who until earlier this offseason was the Rams’ director of college scouting) and head coach Dan Campbell.


Meanwhile, Goff will head to a rebuilding Lions team, and he may not be long for Detroit, given his contract situation…


Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 16: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 16, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Rams signed Goff to a four-year, $130 million contract extension after his third NFL season, and will take a significant dead-money hit onto their books after making this deal. Crucially, though, there is no guaranteed money left on Goff’s contract, so the Lions will be able to move on from him after this season if they so choose.


Stafford spent a decade in Detroit and leaves as the Lions’ all-time leader in completions (3,898) passing yards (45,109), passing touchdowns (282), and quarterback wins (74), took the franchise to three playoff appearances in his tenure, but the team failed to win a playoff game, going 0-3.

Matthew Photo Memories: