Patriots

Rodney Harrison explains why Stafford would be perfect fit for Patriots

Patriots

The New England Patriots need to upgrade at quarterback before the 2021 NFL season, and one option is acquiring Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Stafford reportedly is set to part ways with the Lions after spending the first 12 seasons of his career with the NFC North franchise.

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Would the 32-year-old quarterback be a good fit in New England? One member of the Patriots Hall of Fame is all aboard the Stafford-to-the-Patriots train.

"I would say New England is a perfect choice for him," NBC Sports' Rodney Harrison said on "Safety Blitz" with Jac Collinsworth. "He can go in there -- they have a good defense, they're gonna add a couple more guys. They can build on the offense and go draft an offensive player, pick up some guys in free agency.

"Matthew Stafford has never been considered a leader, but they don't need his leadership. They need him to throw the ball and make completions down the field. They have enough leadership, they have Bill (Belichick), they have some of those older veterans on the defensive side of the ball. They have a good offensive line that can protect him. They have a run game.

"Bill needs to add another tight end and go get another couple wide receivers and spend some money in free agency. But I think Matthew Stafford could be a perfect fit there because they don't need him to come in and galvanize everybody like (Tom) Brady did. They just need him to complete some passes and not throw it into the ground like Cam (Newton) does every other throw."

 

Stafford completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 4,084 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2020. He's also been one of the most durable quarterbacks in the league. Stafford didn't miss a single game from 2011 through 2018. He missed eight games in 2019 but returned in 2020 and played all 16 matchups this past season.

If the Patriots did make a move for Stafford, they would have to also upgrade the talent around him on offense. New England's group of skill position players was arguably the worst in the league last season. Investing draft picks and salary cap space into improving at those positions is critical, regardless of who's playing quarterback for the team next season.

The Patriots have plenty of different options when it comes to finding a new quarterback. If the team is looking for a quick fix in the short term, a veteran such as Stafford would be a great addition.