NFL exec thinks Lions are wasting Matthew Stafford’s talent

Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford is arguably the best QB in Lions history, but is he wasting his career in MoTown?

Matthew Stafford’s 11-year career has reached significant heights, including some rare Lions playoff appearances and a 5,000-yard passing season. Yet, the former No. 1 overall pick out of Georgia hasn’t reached the divisional round in the postseason, losing all three playoff appearances thus far.

Now with Matt Patricia at the helm, it’s tough to see the Lions making the necessary strides to be a top playoff performer in 2020. Stafford will be 33 by the time next Super Bowl rolls around, and assuming he’s not playing in it, it’s fair to wonder whether he’s wasting his talent in MoTown.

NFL executives believe Matthew Stafford needs to get out of Detroit.

“It’s the Stafford syndrome — he plays in Detroit, so he’s not in a position to maximize his ability,” one NFC exec told ESPN. “He’s a major talent who’d probably be a top-five quarterback with an established franchise. He can score from anywhere on the field.”

This comment suggests that Stafford has yet to reach his maximum potential, which, at 32 years old, he ought to be nearing. If Stafford’s prime isn’t as a 5,000-yard passer (and nearly reaching that plateau again the year after), then what is? It’s fair to argue that he doesn’t have the necessary talent around him to win, however.

More recently, injuries have played a major role not only in Stafford’s development, but the Lions on-field success as well. Stafford hurt his back in 2019 when he was on pace for yet another 5,000-yard campaign, and the Lions looked like a playoff team early in the season. Without their leader, the floor fell through on Detroit, and with it Patricia is now looking at a make-or-break season.

Stafford’s resume is lacking, but his skillset is surpassed only by a few in today’s NFL. With several top targets returning, is this the year the Lions put it all together?

Next: 10 NFL head coaches under the most pressure in 2020
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