When is enough, enough?
The truth is that we live a day and age where athletes do have more time than ever before. Even with Matthew turning 32 this coming February, he still has time to perform if he continues to take good care of himself. Look at Tom Brady and Drew Brees, they are both in their 40’s and neither one has slowed down much.
So we could speculate and conservatively say he has maybe another 4-6 good seasons in him, but the real X-factor is whether his body will let him play or not.
Regardless of training routines or nourishment, one of the real facts of life is that not all DNA is created equal. Just as Matthew has been blessed with DNA that gives him a rocket launcher for an arm, while the vast majority of the rest of us haven’t, his DNA may just not allow him to continue to stand up to the physicality of the game. His back may be the warning sign that he’s nearing the end of the road.
If Mrs. Ford decides to send Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia packing and brings in a new regime, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them use the Lions ever-climbing first-round pick to find a new franchise quarterback.
Yet it would certainly seem that if Quinn and Patricia return they won’t be selecting Matthew’s replacement with that early first-round pick and Stafford will continue to be the Lions’ centerpiece.
Considering that Matthew literally asked Matt Patricia not to put him on injured reserve with the hopes that he might play again this season, I’m sure he’d be fine with that.
Luckily, Patricia hasn’t allowed Stafford back on the field, which is really for his own good, but what will happen when Matthew steps on the field next season? There are better players than Matthew in the NFL, but there aren’t any that work harder at their craft than he does.
Stafford loves the game and wants to play as much as he can before he has to hang up his cleats, but will he hold on to his own detriment?
So how much does Matthew Stafford have left in the tank? I imagine he will play as long as he can. The talent is definitely still there and as long as he can play at an acceptable level for himself, he will continue on his quest to bring a championship to Detroit.
But if he has another season or two in a row where he finishes them on the injured list, I would speculate he would start to consider calling it a career. One way or another grooming a young quarterback for the future isn’t a bad idea, because sometimes the future comes faster than we think.