According to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah on The Pat McAfee Show, he still expects the Indianapolis Colts to land suddenly available Detroit Lions franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford in a trade:
“The Niners is a team you keep hearing,” Jeremiah said. “I thought from the beginning, and everything I had heard from the beginning was the Colts. So that’s what I still expect.”
“At first, when I heard the Niners were in it, I was like ‘Okay, this is the Lions needing to get out the other suitor to try to get a little more from the Colts.’ That’s where my mind went, but now it’s like, ‘Shoot. from what you’re saying, it sounds like they’ve made it pretty far down the road there with the Niners.’
But that’s where I expected Stafford to go.”
"I thought from the beginning & everything I had heard from the beginning was the #Colts. I heard the #49ers are in it I thought OK this is the #Lions needing to get out the other suitor to try & get a little more from the #Colts"@MoveTheSticks on Stafford #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/RxxI82rbuw— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 29, 2021
Right now, there’s been some serious smoke during Senior Bowl weekend connecting the Lions and the San Francisco 49ers as progressing in trade discussions for Stafford.
Even one report came out on Friday of what the 49ers’ initial trade offer to the Lions is:
49ers offered 2 second round picks and 2 third rounds picks. From what I know.— Vincent Frank (@VincentFrankNFL) January 29, 2021
Now, with starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s long-term future with the 49ers franchise uncertain, San Francisco could very well be a serious trade suitor for Stafford these days—and it shouldn’t be necessarily discounted that both sides are potentially gaining momentum in ongoing trade talks
That being said, Colts general manager Chris Ballard notoriously runs a tight ship with closed lips and little leaks—judging by both his 2018 trade down of the #3 overall pick with the New York Jets for a king’s ransom draft haul, as well as last offseason’s big-time trade for 49ers All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Neither heavy-hitting trade had anything come out prematurely in league circles until essentially each’s completion.
Whether the 49ers’ serious trade pursuit is being leaked by the Lions as a potential decoy to drive up the Colts’ price remains to be seen, but just because the degree of the Colts’ interest/ongoing trade negotiations haven’t been publicly reported, doesn’t mean that they aren’t currently occurring.
At this point, it doesn’t mean that Stafford is a lock to become a Colt by any means, but the Colts, as the initial mainstream media frontrunner (which means nothing), shouldn’t be ruled out either as a serious trade suitor right now—just because there’s not much recent smoke publicly connecting them to Stafford.