Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford acknowledged that he was aware that the Detroit Lions are planning to enter a rebuild and admitted he didn't want to be a part of it. After the Lions ended their regular season and missed out on the playoffs yet again, it was reported that Stafford and the team decided to part ways.
Stafford, who was selected by the Lions at No. 1 in the 2009 NFL draft, wanted to win in Detroit but he failed in his mission to deliver the city its first Super Bowl. "It was one of those things where, you know, we were hoping that -- golly, let's go, I hope this thing takes off and we play great," Stafford told the Free Press.
"But if it doesn't, you just knew what was going to happen. They were going to tear it down and rebuild. "And anytime you switch GMs and a head coach, you know that they're going to want to bring their own people in, and that's going to take time.
And I, frankly, didn't feel like I was the appropriate person to oversee that time."
Stafford was traded to the Los Angeles Rams
The Lions agreed to trade Stafford to the Rams and in exchange received 216 No. 1 pick Jared Goff and multiple draft picks.
"I'm not a salary cap guru," Stafford told the Free Press. "It kind of got to a point where I'm like, 'OK, I can't sit there and go crazy.' I just tried to let it happen. And L.A. aggressively jumped into it."
Stafford, who played for more than a decade in Detroit, is excited to kick off his stint with the Rams. "We were excited for a new start, excited for the whole process of being on the trading block to be over," Stafford said.
"Now we had a place. We knew where we were going. I was excited about their roster and their coaching staff and what they can bring to the table and their recent success. "But at the same time, it was a close of the door in Detroit.
At that moment it was real." Stafford didn't manage to deliver the Lions their first Super Bowl but he gave his best during his days in Detroit. "Sometimes it's not the perfect storybook ending in the same place," Stafford said. "But I can leave here knowing that I gave this team every damn thing I had."