Just because Matthew Stafford hasn’t been a part of significant team success during a decade-plus spent with the Detroit Lions doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the respect of his peers across the NFL.
Veteran tackle Andrew Whitworth will be a part of the group protecting him as the Rams left tackle next fall. In an interview with Bleacher Report, Whitworth said that Stafford is appreciated across the league for the way he plays the game and for what he’s shown he can do on the field.
“For all NFL guys that have been around Matt’s career and what he’s been able to do, you look at a guy that you think of as just toughness and a chip on his shoulder a little bit to how he plays and competes,” Whitworth said, via Camerson DaSilva of Yahoo Sports. “Has not had the best run with teams there in Detroit and talent around him, I would say, but a guy that there’s nobody in this league that doesn’t have a lot of respect for that dude, the way he competes, some of the throws he makes and really the style of play he plays with at the quarterback position.”
The Lions made it to the playoffs three times in Stafford’s 12 seasons as their quarterback. In those three trips to the playoffs, they bowed out in the Wild Card round each time with a loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the 2014 postseason being the closest they got to advancing. But that doesn’t all fall on Stafford as porous defenses, anemic rushing attacks and lacking weapons in the passing game have all played a part at one time or another.
The Rams team he’s joining seems to be the most talented roster he’s even been a part of with a stout defense, solid receivers and a blossoming running back in Cam Akers. The trade that sent Stafford to Los Angeles in exchange for Jared Goff and swaps of draft picks will become official with the start of the new league year next week.