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Rams Eyeing Matthew Stafford Trade, Deal Unlikely

The Los Angeles Rams reportedly want to trade Matthew Stafford. The chances of the quarterback being moved in the 2023 NFL offseason appear to be minimal.

The Rams have called other teams to initiate trade talks, former NFL general manager Mike Lombardi said on “The Pat McAfee Show” Thursday. There don’t appear to be any takers for Stafford because of all the money that he’s owed this offseason.

On March 17, $57 million of Stafford’s contract becomes fully guaranteed. The $57 million includes a $26 million 2023 option bonus and a $31 million salary for the 2024 season. The Rams, or whatever team that might trade for Stafford, would have to pay the quarterback that money, whether he plays or misses time with an injury.

Stafford’s health has become a significant concern. The 35-year-old was limited to nine games in the 2022 season because of a concussion and a neck injury. Stafford announced that he won’t retire amid concerns that the injuries could threaten his career.

In the 2022 offseason, Stafford had surgery on his throwing elbow. When he was traded to the Rams in the prior offseason, Stafford admitted that he played through a litany of injuries with the Detroit Lions in 2020. Stafford missed half of the Lions’ games in 2019 because of broken bones in his back.

In between all those injuries, Stafford did manage to lead the Rams to a Super Bowl championship. The quarterback threw for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns in his first season with Los Angeles. The veteran posted a 108.3 passer rating in four playoff games.

The Rams had one of the worst Super Bowl defenses in NFL history. Los Angeles went 5-12 in the 2022 season. The team is looking to move on from a few key veterans.

Star cornerback Jalen Ramsey has been in trade rumors and is expected to be moved. Veteran linebacker Bobby Wager was released. Linebacker Leonard Floyd could be next. Wide receiver Allen Robinson could be traded.

Even if Stafford’s guaranteed money was lower, it might be hard for the Rams to trade him. The New Orleans Saints have signed Derek Carr. The New York Jets are zeroing in on Aaron Rodgers.

The Las Vegas Raiders and Carolina Panthers might sign veteran quarterbacks, but they could draft a quarterback in the first round, making them less willing to spend big on a signal caller.

Stafford has a $27 million base salary for 2025. On the third next of the 2024 league year, $10 million of Stafford’s 2025 salary will become guaranteed.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates with running back Darrell Henderson #27 after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks in the second half at Lumen Field on Oct. 7, 2021, in Seattle.
Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images