Report: 49ers' Stafford trade interest has 'a lot of smoke'

Lions' Matthew Stafford

The 49ers could put an age-old cliché to the test this offseason.

It has been said wherever there's smoke, there's fire. And there reportedly has been a "lot of smoke" between the 49ers and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

The 49ers' interest in Stafford has been a dominant topic at this week's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., KOA NewsRadio's Benjamin Albright reported Thursday.

Stafford, 32, and the Lions reportedly are expected to part ways this offseason. Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch publicly backed Jimmy Garoppolo as the starting QB in 2021 following a disappointing, injury-riddled season in 2020, but that was prior to Stafford's relationship with the Lions reportedly reaching its end.

Last season, Stafford threw for 4,084 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 16 starts for Detroit this season. Stafford also averaged the second-highest yards per attempt of his career (7.7) and posted his fifth-highest passer rating (96.3).

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NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that about "a third of the league" already has called the Lions about trading for Stafford, so the 49ers surely won't be the only team interested in the QB.

There still are nearly two months until the start of NFL's next league year, and not even one week has passed since Stafford reportedly asked to be traded. A lot can happen between now and March 17, so we'll see if the reported smoke leads to actual fire.


The state of the 49ers' quarterback depth chart is on the line, and so is the fate of an age-old platitude. There's a lot riding on Stafford's future, in other words.

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