The Colts and quarterback Matthew Stafford seem to have mutual interest in one another.
When Philip Rivers announced his retirement, it confirmed that the Indianapolis Colts would have their fifth opening day starter in as many years in 2021. Considering how unprecedented that is in the NFL, it’s incredibly impressive that they’ve managed to stay relevant during that span.
That, of course, is a testament to GM Chris Ballard’s ability to build a roster, and Indy will once again be counting on him to work his magic this offseason. With the team in desperate need of a franchise-caliber quarterback, they figure to be major players in the Matthew Stafford sweepstakes after he formally requested a trade out of Detroit this past weekend.
Since then, we’ve heard reports that Stafford was eyeing the Colts, and seemingly every insider and analyst in the business has stated reasons why such a marriage would make sense for both parties.
Well, another compelling rumor can be thrown into the mix now, as John Clayton of 710 ESPN Seattle is hearing that Stafford not only fancies Indianapolis as a trade destination, but prefers them more than any other team vying for his services.
"“Indianapolis. That’s the team from what I gather Matthew Stafford likes,” said Clayton. “He likes it better than any other.”“So, I think he’s kind of in the same mind as Jim Irsay and also he knows Jacob Eason, because they both have some roots in Georgia. Not as far as where Stafford grew up, but I think right now the worry you have is Carolina going to make a big offer? I don’t know if they’ll give up the 8th pick in the draft. Washington has the 19th pick in the first round, and they’re going to be in the bidding. San Francisco is going to be in the bidding.”“I know I said it was going to be Washington because I think they have more clout right now than the Colts, but I think ultimately Stafford has a great chance to come to Indianapolis.”"
That’s what we like to hear, though we’re not entirely sure that we agree with the notion that Washington “has more clout” than Indy or is the more appealing landing spot. While they no doubt have a bright future, the Colts’ roster is deeper on both sides of the ball and is clearly a star quarterback away from being able to compete for a championship. We’re not so sure you can say the same about the Football Team, but that’s a discussion for another day.
With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why Stafford would desire a trade to Indianapolis over any of the reported competing teams like Washington, Carolina and San Francisco. Unlike those organizations, the Colts have front office stability, the right head coach in place, a potent rushing attack, and a budding defense that’s yet to reach its potential.
At some point over the last 12 years, Stafford has encountered all four elements with Detroit, but never at the same time, let alone a multi-year stretch. Indy’s championship window is firmly open for business and isn’t closing anytime soon, and you better believe that Stafford had that in mind when he met with the Lions’ front office to inform them that it was time for him to move on.