The trade that sent Matthew Stafford from the Lions to the Rams sent shockwaves through the football world.
Some of the details that came out following the trade were shocking, too, including a report that Stafford didn’t want to be traded to the Patriots. In an interview with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, Stafford didn’t confirm that the Patriots were on a no-trade list, but he did acknowledge that there was a list of teams he’d like to be traded to and a list of teams he didn’t want to be traded to.
“What’s accurate is — and this is an incredible thing by [the Lions] — I asked to go to a team that was ready to win a championship,” Stafford said. “And, you know, there were a few teams on that list. There were a few teams that were not on that list. And they were respectful of that and understood completely. I had thoughts and reasons for each one of them.”
By saying there “were a few that were not on that list,” Stafford seemingly refuted the part of Tom Curran’s report that the Patriots were the lone team he didn’t want to be traded to.
One of the reasons that were speculated as to why Stafford didn’t want a trade to the Patriots was because he didn’t want to be reunited with Matt Patricia. Stafford and Patricia spent the last three seasons together in Detroit, where Patricia was the head coach of a team that had a 13-29-1 record during his time there and reportedly had conflicts with several players. Patricia, who was fired by the Lions in November, was brought back to the Patriots’ coaching staff in January as an assistant coach.
While Stafford didn’t win much with Patricia as his head coach, he said he has a good relationship with his former head coach.
“He and I had a good relationship, no matter what anybody wants to say,” Stafford said of Patricia. “I could go into his office and talk to him, he could get me on the phone whenever he needed to. I think we both grew in that relationship. I have a lot of respect for him and who he is, as a football coach and an unbelievable mind.”
As for the Patriots, they did reportedly show interest in the now-former Lions quarterback. New England offered Detroit a second-round pick and a player for Stafford, according to MMQB’s Albert Breer.
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