New team, but the same old Matthew Stafford.
Stafford was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in late January following an agony-filled career with the Detroit Lions. However, San Francisco 49ers’ safety Jimmie Ward doesn’t think the quarterback will fare any better in L.A.
“I like Stafford, but they still will have the same players that he’ll be throwing the ball to,” Ward told SI.com. “He’s the same quarterback who was on the Detroit Lions and they still didn’t go to the playoffs, and they had Megatron [Calvin Johnson]. What was the problem over there in Detroit? Are you going to blame the city? What was the problem? Was it the money? If [the] city didn’t have enough money to bring players over there, why even have an NFL team? That’s a big question mark.”
Stafford reached the postseason just three times over twelve seasons with Detroit; he has never made it past Wild Card weekend. Overall, the 33-year-old held a 74-90-1 record during his time with the Lions.
The 2009 No. 1 overall pick was sent to the Rams in exchange for two first-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023, a third-round pick in 2021, and Jared Goff. Many scouts around the league saw the trade as a definite upgrade for Los Angeles. However, Ward will believe it when he sees it.
“They went and traded Jared Goff, who went to the playoffs several times and went to the Super Bowl. Yeah, he lost. He went to the Super Bowl, though. I’ve yet to see that with Matt Stafford,” Ward added. “And I’m saying, he’s still great. I believe he’s a top 10 quarterback, maybe top 5. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m just going off of what I see. And I see Jared Goff got those boys to the Super Bowl.”
Even without star wide receiver Kenny Golladay for most of the season, Stafford still threw for 4,084 yards while converting 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Now, he will play under an offensive guru in head coach Sean McVay, and more star power to throw the ball to on the Rams, including Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, DeSean Jackson, and Tyler Higbee.