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Dolphins Reportedly Tried Trading For Stafford In 2018 -- Patricia Said No

Miami wanted an upgrade over Ryan Tannehill.

March 26, 2019 - 2:16 pm

A year after signing Matthew Stafford to a five-year, $135 million extension that runs through 2022, the Lions had a chance to trade him. 

It was the Dolphins and then-head coach Adam Gase who came calling last offseason, according to the Miami Herald. Matt Patricia, entering his first season as head coach of the Lions, promptly said no. 

Per the Herald, Gase "reached out personally" to Patricia, as the two have a personal relationship. Gase was looking for an upgrade at quarterback over Ryan Tannehill, and was willing to send at least Miami's 2018 first-round pick to Detroit -- although talks never progressed that far between the two teams. 

"Patricia, obviously recognizing Stafford’s value to the Lions, told Gase he was not willing to move on from the quarterback at that point," according to the Herald. 

There's also the matter of Stafford's contract and the fact the Lions would have absorbed huge cap hits by trading him. It would have cost the team at least $46 million in cap space in 2018, plus $30 million in 2019, $20 million in 2020 and $10 million in 2021.

Stafford's cap hit was $26.5 million in 2018 and it's $29.5 million in 2019. That means it would have cost the Lions more both of those years to watch Stafford play for another team than to keep him. 

The 31-year-old quarterback is coming off a down season in which he posted his lowest passer rating since 2014 and threw for the fewest yards of his career in a full season.

Lions GM Bob Quinn has been adamant that Stafford will remain the team's quarterback. He reportedly denied at the combine last month that the Dolphins ever came calling for Stafford.