Matthew Stafford is technically still a Lion for another month, as the trade that will send him to the Rams won’t be official until the start of the new league year in March.
But when Stafford asked Detroit to trade him, he reportedly was willing to go anywhere but New England. Stafford didn’t confirm that report in an interview with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press. But part of the speculation for why he wouldn’t want to join the Patriots was the presence of his former head coach, Matt Patricia.
Since the Lions fired him in November, Patricia has re-joined New England to assist the coaching staff in a variety of roles. But when addressing the coach, Stafford told Albom speculation regarding his partnership with Patricia was overblown.
“He and I had a good relationship, no matter what anybody wants to say,” Stafford said. “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.”
Regardless, Stafford is headed to Los Angeles where he’s expected to help make the Rams an immediate Super Bowl contender.