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Report: Matthew Stafford Leaving Detroit Lions

January 23, 2021

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ATHENS - Perhaps now Matthew Stafford will get a legitimate shot to win in the NFL

The former Georgia QB and the Detroit Lions are parting ways after more than a decade together. That’s according to a report from's Tom Pelissero

“Stafford told the team he feels it's the right time to move on and team officials agreed, per sources,” Pelissero reported

Stafford has thrown over 45,000 yards and 282 touchdowns during his 12-year career with the Lions. In that time the franchise has struggled to win. The franchise has only gone to the playoffs three times and managed one win.  

Stafford’s contract, which is a two-year deal with $43 million left on it, makes his a prime candidate to move. Pelissero reports that several franchises would be interested in the former Georgia star including: Denver, Indianapolis, Carolina, New England, New Orleans and Washington.

Stafford, who turns 33 this year, played three seasons in Athens - the most memorable of which was the 2007 season. That year Stafford guided the Bulldogs to a Sugar Bowl win and a No. 2 final ranking. 

He left for the NFL a year later, telling Dawg Post in an exclusive interview why he picked Georgia from the start. 

“One of the main reasons I came to Georgia was that I enjoyed the entire coaching staff and the people. You have to think about it - I made the decision thinking that I was going to play where I went... hopefully, if I played well and stayed healthy. Am I going to enjoy coming to work every day? I really liked quarterbacks coach (Mike) Bobo. I really liked Coach (Mark) Richt,” he said in 2009. 

Stafford, who was 21 at the time of the interview, said that he understood that the NFL is a business, and that anything can happen along the way. 

“You think about all the things that go along with the NFL. As much as I would like to just think about playing football - there is a lot more than just football that goes into it,” he said. 

And while the Dallas Cowboys seem out of the picture for his future, in 2009 he said that playing for his hometown team would be something he would love to do. 

“I would love, at some point in my career, maybe if the stars fall in line some day, anything like that would be cool,” he said. “That was my team growing up, so I think that's natural. I think getting the chance to play in that stadium would be sweet. I saw it when I flew over it when I was coming into town, and it is a beast.”

He made simple in Dawg Post’s 2009 interview the one thing he wanted from his NFL career: 

“One thing? I want Super Bowls - yeah. I think if you win Super Bowls the Hall of Fame and stuff like that comes along with it,” he said with a laugh. 

Maybe that won’t be so funny anymore. 

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