Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported on Sunday that the Jets “checked in” with the Detroit Lions about a possible Stafford trade late on Friday night.
He went on to say that the Lions “circled back” with the Jets on Saturday but that the talks never progressed further than that. However, the Jets were clearly interested.
While the Jets never made a formal offer as Breer reported teams like the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Football Team, and Denver Broncos did, they obviously were intrigued.
And that’s the important takeaway here.
The NY Jets were definitely interested in Matthew Stafford
The Jets will have an important decision to make at the quarterback position this offseason. And while there’s been some speculation that the team opts to stick with Sam Darnold, a report like this indicates the opposite will be true.
Of course, if Deshaun Watson is a feasible option, the Jets will choose Watson 10 times out of 10. But this shows that they’re not only interested in adding a proven elite quarterback, they’re exploring all options to upgrade the position.
Stafford will turn 33-years-old later this month and while his contract is semi-affordable and he’s still playing at a pretty high level, it never made the most sense for the Jets to go all-in on the former No. 1 overall pick.
The idea was intriguing, but the price just wouldn’t have been worth it. Especially given the other options out there.
But general manager Joe Douglas was clearly interested. And that’s what is most significant about this report.
Douglas calling the Lions about a 33-year-old quarterback is proof that he’s exploring all avenues to upgrade over Darnold. That likely bodes well for the team’s chances of selecting a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will, but it’s clear that Douglas is looking into the option. Darnold’s job status is very much uncertain at the moment.
In the end, Stafford was shipped to the Los Angeles Rams for a hefty price — one the Jets would have never paid. But none of that matters.
What matters is that the Jets were interested. Stafford was just the tip of the iceberg.