The exchange that sent Matthew Stafford from the Lions to the Rams sent shockwaves through the football world.
Some of the details that came out after the trade were also shocking, including a report that Stafford did not want to be traded to the Patriots. In an interview with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, Stafford did not confirm that the Patriots were on a no-trade list, but he did acknowledge that there was a list of teams he would like to be traded with and a list of teams he didn’t want to be traded to.
“What is correct is – and it is an amazing thing by [the Lions] – I asked to go to a team that was ready to win a championship, ”said Stafford. “And, you know, there were a few teams on that list. There were a few teams that weren’t on this list. And they were respectful of that and fully understood. I had thoughts and reasons for each of them.
Saying that “there were a few that weren’t on this list,” Stafford apparently refuted the part of Tom Curran’s report that the Patriots were the only team he didn’t want to be traded to.
One of the reasons Stafford didn’t want to trade with the Patriots was because he didn’t want to be reunited with Matt Patricia. Stafford and Patricia have spent the last three seasons together in Detroit, where Patricia was the head coach of a team that went 13-29-1 during their 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.
Although Stafford didn’t win much with Patricia as the head coach, he said he had a good relationship with his former head coach.
“He and I have had a great relationship no matter what anyone means,” Stafford said of Patricia. “I could go to his office and talk to him, he could reach me on the phone when he needed it. I think we both grew up in this relationship. I have a lot of respect for him and for who he is, as a football coach and an amazing spirit.
As for the Patriots, they have reportedly expressed interest in the former Lions quarterback. New England gave Detroit a second-round pick and a player for Stafford, according to the MMQB’s Albert Breer.
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