The smoke around Matthew Stafford potentially being traded to the 49ers has heated up in recent days, with conversation about the Detroit Lions quarterback reportedly being one of the main talking points at the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile, Ala.
Mark Richt, who was Stafford's college coach at Georgia, believes the QB can lead a championship-caliber team with the right pieces around him.
"You gotta have protection, you gotta have guys who can get open and you have to defenses that can get stops when it counts the most. It's just not a one-man job, but surrounded by the right people and the right leadership, I've got no doubt in my mind that he could win a Super Bowl," Richt told 95.7 The Game on Friday morning.
"That's part of what he's thinking now towards the end of his career, he's made plenty of money, thrown for a lot of yards and touchdowns, but let's win a championship. let's go somewhere where we can win, and if he ends up there I'm sure that's a big part of his reasoning."
Stafford drew the short straw and was drafted by a Detroit team that the previous season had finished 0-16. Although he had one of the game's most talented wide receivers ever in Calvin Johnson for his first seven seasons with the Lions, Detroit ended up with a winning record in just two of those seven campaigns.
When Richt and Stafford were paired up at Georgia, they led the Bulldogs to at least nine wins in each of their three seasons together.
The 49ers have much more continuity over the past few years in terms of play-calling than Stafford ever did in Detroit, and while the offensive line certainly had a down year in 2020, Mike McGlinchey is a former top-10 draft pick and if Trent Williams ends up re-signing with the 49ers, Stafford could have two pretty great tackles protecting the outside.
A number of teams likely are inquiring with the Lions about trading for Stafford this week, and the 49ers should be among them.
Jimmy Garoppolo had the backing of the 49ers' front office going into the offseason, but general manager John Lynch isn't going to miss a chance at a positional upgrade, especially if it comes at a fair price.