Matthew Stafford Demands the End of Hollywood. So are rams.


THOUSAND OAKS, California — He and his teammates remained calm after new quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams, Matthew Stafford, intervened three times in a joint practice with the Las Vegas Raiders this month. Instead of pouting or slamming his helmet, he met with his coaches to discuss what went wrong.

Les Snead, the team’s general manager, also looked relieved watching a cloudy, rainy afternoon from afar. Organized in January Barter to buy Staffordsent Jared Goff, the team’s starting quarterback, and three picks, including two first-round picks, to the Detroit Lions.

Adding one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the NFL (Stafford’s 45,109 career yards rated him). fifth among active passers-by) but leaving by 2024 with a first-round pick, the team has greatly raised fans’ hopes for the near future. But Stafford’s training losses have caused many to voice their concerns on social media. According to Snead, one of her children, a teenager, texted her asking if “Stafford was having a bad day.”

The interest in the team makes sense. Until the trade, the Rams risked disappearing into one of the NFL’s toughest divisions. Now they have a 33-year-old quarterback who wants to leave the only franchise he’s played in for a better shot at football glory. Rams window now opens.

“I think Matt was at a point in his career where he played a lot of football, made a lot of money, and now we’re in the ‘OK, let’s do something special,’ part,” Snead said in an interview. “I think he’s looking at it like ‘This league is a good place to write goodbye episodes’.”

It had the potential to be out of season defined by high-profile quarterback changes. In an age where Stafford’s peers are encouraged to use their star power to trump cards, seek trades or influence squads, the separation he requested from Lions stands out because it is resolved peacefully and privately. He believes his relationship with the team’s ownership allows the process to run smoothly.

“This could have gone in a lot of different directions, and I’m glad it went that way,” Stafford said.

Despite losing in the first round in all three of his three playoff games for Detroit in 12 seasons, Stafford threw more than 4,000 yards eight times and finished the 38-game winning drive. He knew he could still produce at an elite level and wanted to compete with a competitor. Detroit finished last season 5-11. Had Stafford stayed in 2021 he would have played for his fourth head coach and third general manager. He silently asked for a trade and the Lions agreed, something he knew was not guaranteed.

“I have to give them a ton of credit for how they approached it,” Stafford said. “After 12 years of dealing with me, they knew if I said anything to them it was my word, and I knew I felt the same way for them.”

Other quarterbacks seeking change have had mixed results this season. This is how the rumors turned Aaron Rodgers He wanted to date in Green Bay. Deshaun Watson has reportedly requested a trade from Houston. Russell Wilson wanted more say in the Seattle Seahawks’ personnel decisions. However, his manager has made public a list of teams Wilson would consider participating in the trade.

When the boot camps opened, these quarterbacks rejoined their teams. In his case, Stafford said he wanted an open discussion with the Lions and was grateful they agreed with his point of view.

“I wasn’t in the mode of trying to be empowered, I just wanted to be honest,” she said. “I just wanted to let them know how I felt and it was really great that they respected that and worked with me.”

Initially, it seemed unlikely that Stafford would join the Rams. They signed a four-year contract extension worth $134 million in 2019 after taking Goff to a Super Bowl. But over the past two seasons, Goff has regressed 29 times, prompting Snead and Coach Sean McVay to seek an upgrade. Both men were intrigued by Stafford’s availability.

“We felt maybe it was the right time, and this might be the right place to bring all these sets of variables together in this very, very important location,” Snead said.

Stafford must sort out a lot of things plaguing the Rams in 2020 when the team was 10-6 and lost to the Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs. They had one of the best defenses in the NFL, anchored by lineman Aaron Donald and corner player Jalen Ramsey, but the offense did not regularly threaten downfield attacks and at least 20 yards completed with only 50 pass play, ranked 14th.

At training camp and training, Stafford delivered impressive passes with speed and tact to the receivers on shots. The two pass passes in this offense against the Raiders, McVay said, could be corrected by stafford learning the new offensive system and adjusting the receivers to his timing.

“He’s one of those guys who glorifies everyone around him,” McVay said. “I like that it’s balanced when things don’t go our way. He is consistent.”

Unlike other stars on less-complete teams, Stafford has not released a list of his wishes or asked him to weigh in on roster decisions, but McVay and Snead said they would welcome his offer.

“I’m the new guy here,” Stafford said. “I just try to come out and do my job as right as I can. I trust these guys and they’ve done a great job of creating a program with a great atmosphere here.”

With a stacked roster for a postseason run, Stafford can focus on what lies ahead. Despite his numbers in Detroit, Stafford was selected to only one Pro Bowl. This month followed former Lions teammate Calvin Johnson inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Being in Canton, Ohio and seeing the history around it made Stafford reflect on his own legacy and what kind of career break he could write in Los Angeles.

“I just want to play meaningful football and get to know these guys as well as I can and play here for as long as I can,” Stafford said.


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