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Matthew Stafford, Lions will discuss dealing QB for a 'fresh start,' report says

Matthew Stafford of the Lions looks on in

Matthew Stafford of the Lions looks on in the fourth quarter during a game against the Vikings at Ford Field on Jan. 3 in Detroit. Credit: Getty Images/Rey Del Rio

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft and has set virtually every significant team passing record, appears ready to leave Detroit and join a new team.

NFL.com and ESPN reported late Saturday that Stafford had "expressed a desire for a fresh start" and that the Lions will discuss trade options in the next several weeks for Stafford, who will turn 33 on Feb. 7.

The Lions last week hired former Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell as head coach, the team’s fourth coach since Stafford was taken out of Georgia with the top pick. The Lions fired coach Matt Patricia, a former Patriots defensive coordinator, and general manager Bob Quinn on Nov. 28 and hired Brad Holmes to replace Quinn.

Holmes and Campbell expressed support for Stafford but didn’t close the door on trading him during the offseason.

Several teams may be interested in Stafford, including the Colts, who need a replacement for Philip Rivers after the longtime Chargers quarterback announced his retirement after one season in Indianapolis. The Patriots also are looking for a successor to Tom Brady after Cam Newton failed to live up to expectations in 2020. The Jets might be in the market for a veteran quarterback, but disgruntled Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been most frequently mentioned as a potential replacement for Sam Darnold.

In 12 seasons with the Lions, Stafford is 74-90-1 and has a franchise-best 282 touchdown passes. He has been beset by a lack of talent through most of his time with the Lions. He made the playoffs three times but did not win a postseason game.

New York Sports