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Lions agree to Matthew Stafford’s trade request [report]

© Kirthmon F. Dozier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The rumblings were there. But now it appears real. After a 12-year career with the Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford, still just 32 years old (but turning 33in early February), wants out. And it appears the Lions will grant his request.

Stafford, of course, is the Lions’ all-time leader in passing yards (45,109 yards) and touchdowns (282). He has the 16th-most career passing yards and touchdowns in NFL history.

Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Stafford officially put in a trade request which the Lions have agreed to, and will now look to use as a way to target a franchise quarterback. Any trade, per Pelissero, is likely happen before the fifth day of the NFL’s league year, on March 22.

Detroit currently holds the 7th overall pick in the draft, and the 49ers hold the 12th.

The Lions just hired former Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell to a six-year deal. Campbell’s press conference was unlike any before it, in that he was literally talking about kneecapping opponents, but it had a vibe of “oh, this could go very poorly.”

Obviously, the first question from the 49ers’ perspective is, “does this work financially?” Short answer: yes.

The way Stafford’s deal is structured, per OverTheCap, makes him cheaper for the 49ers than Jimmy Garoppolo. The Lions, though, have to eat $19 million in dead cap in a trade, which ensures they won’t let him go for nothing.

Stafford would cost the 49ers, or any acquiring team, $20 million in 2021 and $23 million in 2022. Cutting or trading Garoppolo would cost the 49ers $2.8 million in dead cap space, but would come at a combined cost of $22.8 million in 2020, compared to Garoppolo’s salary of $26.9 million. A net savings of $4.1 million.

In a year in which the cap is everything, that savings could prove monumental, especially when looking to re-sign Trent Williams, and most of the team’s secondary (a Fred Warner extension would be nice, too).

The Lions are assured to ask for a first round pick and potentially more, perhaps a first-rounder and a third-rounder. San Francisco would assuredly try and work out a trade for Garoppolo simultaneously, so if there was a Day 2 pick involved, they could recoup it simultaneously by moving Garoppolo, assuming there is a market for him (Indianapolis, Chicago and New England seem the most likely, if only possible destinations).


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