Why the Detroit Lions Should Keep Matthew Stafford

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Ryan Fitzpatrick – Unrestricted Free Agent, $3.25 million contract

Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) in the pocket against the Houston Texans during the second half of a game at NRG Stadium. Houston won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Assuming the Lions released or traded Stafford, they would immediately have a hole at quarterback. Though it would be likely that the Lions would also draft one, they would need a veteran teacher and someone who can start now in the case that the rookie would not be ready.

While his team has enjoyed some success so far in 2015 with an average record, Fitzpatrick is ranked near the bottom of the league by Pro Football Focus, though some of that can be accredited to an injury to his left hand. Throughout his career, he’s been a serviceable starter at best and that’s what the Lions could expect with a portion of the money that Stafford would free up next year.

For what it’s worth, former Lion Drew Stanton made even more money than Fitzpatrick at $3.87 million.

Next: Another depth player for Stafford's money