Reports: Lions to explore trading QB Matthew Stafford

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DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 03: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on January 03, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — One of the names media and fans have casually thrown out as a replacement for Philip Rivers as the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback may actually be available.

ESPN and the NFL Network reported on Saturday night that Matthew Stafford and the Lions have mutually agreed to part ways this offseason, and the team will start listening to trade offers.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the news to The Associated Press, saying the Lions and Stafford have both agreed to exploring the possibilities of a trade.

The source says Stafford expressed interest in a trade after the season, but the team wanted to wait discussing further until they hired a general manager and head coach.

Stafford, new GM Brad Holmes and new coach Dan Campbell were on a call earlier this week and they talked about moving in different directions.

The 32-year-old quarterback has two years remaining on a $135 million, five-year contract.

The top overall pick in the 2009 draft has thrown for over 45,000 yards and 282 touchdowns in his 12 seasons in Detroit. He was the fastest player player to reach 20,000, 30,000 and 40,000 passing yards.

Rivers announced his retirement on Wednesday after one season in Indianapolis and 17 overall.

“Even though he wore the Horseshoe for only one season, it was a season to remember,” Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay said in a statement. “We were fortunate to have his leadership and passion in our building for this part of our climb.”

Back-up quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s contract is also expiring, so the only quarterback on the Colts’ roster will be Jacob Eason, a fourth round draft pick last year.

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