For some fans, the news that Matthew Stafford had retired would be welcome. Since they put all the team’s shortcomings on Matthew’s shoulders, this would mean a fresh new start for their Lions, but it would also mean another re-building process. In the NFL, if you don’t have a quality starting quarterback then you don’t have a chance.
So let’s start by looking at what would happen if Matthew suddenly announced after tonight’s game against the Cleveland Browns that he decided to retire.
Suddenly a team with a defense on the verge of being very good along with a rising star at running back and quality receivers and tight ends would have no catalyst to tie it all together.
Instead, we’re talking about a team that would most likely spiral down to earning a very high draft pick, if not the first overall selection, in next year’s draft.
For some fans that would be enough if they could use that first pick to get Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa or even Clemson’s young phenom, Trevor Lawrence if either of them left school early after this season.
Both sound like good investments in the Lions future, but what about right now? Sure they have holes they need to fill like any team, but this is a franchise that is capable of getting to the playoffs. They are also capable of possibly winning in the playoffs for the first time since 1991.
Now ultimately the goal is to win the Super Bowl, but this team isn’t going to win the Super Bowl with a rookie at quarterback. Even the best rookies take time to develop which means that the Lions would either have to start using assets they currently have to acquire other assets to grow with their young quarterback or watch this team possibly get past it’s prime before their new young passer is ready to win.
Outside of Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay, and T.J. Hockenson, there are no offensive skill players for this young quarterback to grow with. You, in essence, are scrapping almost everything they have done over the last year and a half since general manager Bob Quinn brought in his own hand-picked head coach.