Matthew Stafford on report that he did not want to join the Patriots: ‘There were a few teams that were not on the list’

After Matthew Stafford‘s trade to Los Angeles rams last month, a report emerged that he told Detroit Lions to the only team he would not join was it New England Patriots.

He addressed the report in an interview with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press who ran Sunday. His version of his non-trading list tells a slightly different story.

Stafford refused to speak directly if he made a specific request to avoid the Patriots. But he clarified that he asked to be traded to a team built to fight for a championship – and that there were several teams that were not on his list.

“What exactly is – and this is an incredible thing to know [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 this list. There were a few teams that were not on the list. And they respected it and fully understood. I had thoughts and reasons for each and every one of them. “

Report: Stafford wanted to go ‘anywhere except New England’

While Stafford avoided directly addressing the report on the Patriots, his response does not quite match what Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston reported on January 31st.

Stafford told the Lions that they could send him anywhere but New England, “Curran wrote.” This comes from a source whose team was heavily involved in Stafford trade negotiations but did not land him. “

Matthew Stafford spoke diplomatically about Matt Patricia, but refused to address the Patriots report directly. (Amy Lemus / Getty Images)

Did Stafford want to avoid Matt Patricia?

Curran’s report gave confidence in the belief that Stafford would have nothing to do with recently fired Lions coach Matt Patricia, a Bill Belichick disciple who became a member of the Patriots staff after his departure from Detroit. The Lions went 13-29-1 under Patricia, who reportedly often collided with players. Former Lions players looked forward to it when the franchise fired Patricia in November.

That Stafford will at all costs avoid rejoining Patricia’s track is quite likely. But Stafford is an NFL quarterback. And NFL quarterbacks are notoriously reluctant to step into any area that could be considered controversial. His comments on Patricia to Albom were entirely diplomatic.

“He and I had a good relationship, no matter what anyone wants to say,” Stafford said of Patricia. “I could go into his office and talk to him, he could get me on the phone when he needed it. I think we both grew in that relationship. I have great respect for him and who he is. , as a football coach. and an incredible mind. “

So Stafford is not here to openly torch bridges. But if he would deny that he expressed a specific desire to the Lions to avoid the Patriots in a trade, he could have done so with Albom. And he did not.

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