What would be the long-term effects if Matthew Stafford opted out?

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Chase Daniel, Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chase Daniel, Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

A lost season and much more

Let’s be honest, we all know the short term effects that not having Matthew Stafford would create. We saw the domino effect last season when this franchise could barely win with Matthew in the lineup and performing like one of the best players, not just quarterbacks, in the league.

The Lions had a 3-4-1 record when Matthew went down for the season in Oakland. They then proceeded to finish the year without adding one more solitary win to their total.

Now in fairness to that team, the incredibly bad play of the defense was the reason they had a losing record when Matthew went down to injury and also the reason they didn’t win another game without him.

However, even if the defense makes some big strides this year as head coach Matt Patricia is expecting, they would still be staring down the barrel of a losing season.

Unlike last year, Chase Daniel does provide the Lions with a veteran backup who is capable of helping the Lions win games, but he’s not a long-term solution nor is he going to lead the Lions to the promised land unless the defense suddenly becomes the second coming of Pittsburgh’s ‘Steel Curtain’ defense from the 1970s.

A suffocating defense would give the Lions a chance to compete without Matthew, but do we really think they will be suffocating? Especially given that the only choking they did last year was giving up leads.

I think it’s safe to say that even with an improved defense, Bill Belichick, the dean of NFL head coaches, would have trouble winning more than eight games with these Matthew Staffordless Lions.

Plain and simple, it would be a major challenge for this franchise to overcome without much, much better play from the rest of the team. And there is no way around the fact that the Lions defense would have to be far and away better than it has been just to give them any kind of fighting chance.

But how the team would fare on the field without Matthew isn’t the point. The true point is how not having their franchise quarterback would affect them off the field.